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FISHTRAP, WA – A semi trailer carrying a load of Atlantic salmon flipped Wednesday morning, November 17, on a highway in Lincoln County, Washington. The cargo of fish spilled across the road after the roll over truck accident which occurred in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 90 near the town of Fishtrap,  about 30 miles outside the city of Spokane. The accident area is in the far east-central section of Washington State near the border with Idaho, about 230 miles north of La Grande, Oregon and about 61 miles west of Coeur d’Alene, ID.

Early Wednesday morning a truck driver was hauling a cargo of Atlantic salmon, driving east on Interstate 90. The fish was on ice packed in special insulated boxes. The semi driver was headed toward Spokane, however the exact destination is not known. One passenger rode in the cab section of the tractor trailer.


The truck accident occurred at around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday morning as the semi trailer moved through Lincoln County. According to officials the semi driver reported that as he drove near the exit for Fishtrap a deer ran into the road in front of the 18 wheeler truck. The driver maneuvered in an attempt to miss the animal and the semi truck went out of control. The tractor trailer tipped and then rolled over onto its side, crashing in a ditch running alongside the interstate. The semi truck finally came to a rest, trapping the driver and his passenger inside the cab section.

The force of the rollover broke open the trailer section of the truck and the cargo of salmon spilled out in the ditch and onto the roadway. Some of the insulated boxes opened up and whole fish were strewn around the truck accident site.


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Washington State Patrol troopers and local emergency personnel rushed to the crash site. Firefighters had to use tools to cut through the partially crushed cab of the semi to reach the trapped driver and passenger. It would take about 15 minutes for the rescue workers to extricate the two men. Once they were free paramedics treated and stabilized them at the scene of the truck accident before taking them in ambulances to a local hospital. Their injuries are described as non life threatening and they are expected to recover.

WSP troopers shut down a section of eastbound I-90 surrounding the truck accident site. Highway crews had to work for hours to pick up the cargo of Atlantic salmon that was spilled across the interstate.  Another truck was brought to the site and the fish cargo was loaded on the second semi, however it is not known if any of the fish are salvageable.

When the cargo of fish was cleaned up a tow truck team worked to get the disabled semi trailer back upright and hauled off the interstate. All lanes of eastbound I-90 were finally reopened shortly before 10:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, about seven hours after the rollover truck accident.

Officials investigating the crash site have not made a statement to the public at this time. The only known possible cause for the truck accident is the driver swerving to miss the animal in the roadway. It is not known if authorities are considering other factors or whether the semi trailer will be inspected for mechanical failure.

No charges have been made pending the completion of the truck accident investigation.


Gordon Elias & Seely, LLP recommend that if you know anyone who has been injured or killed as the result of a commercial truck accident involving a semi truck, 18 wheeler, big rig, tractor trailer or bus, tell them to immediately contact a qualified truck accident lawyer for advice. Often times the truck company and the truck driver will be from other states other than where the accident occurred. Truck accident attorneys often times have relationships with other experienced truck accident attorneys licensed in other states. Gordon, Elias & Seely LLP are licensed in Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and Washington, DC and have informal relationships with other truck accident lawyers. For more information, visit their page about WA truck accident lawyers or call 800.773.6770.

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