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CLE ELUM, WA – Icy roads on Tuesday morning, November 30, caused a semi trailer to go out of control and crash on a highway in Kittitas County, Washington State. The truck accident occurred on an overpass on Interstate 90 near the city of Cle Elum and would leave the cab section of the 18 wheeler dangling over the side of the highway. The accident area is about 60 miles north of Yakima in the south-central part of the state, about 162 miles north of The Dalles, Oregon and about 229 miles west of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.

On Tuesday morning 42 year old truck driver Sameth Dam of Renton, WA was driving a 2001 Freightliner TK semi trailer west on Interstate 90 in Kittitas County, WA. His cargo and destination is not known. A winter storm had hit the area overnight and road conditions were snowy and slick at the time of the truck accident.


Shortly before 10:00 a.m. Tuesday the truck driver had reached the Cle Elm overpass and was driving near Mile Marker 83 when he suddenly lost control of his tractor trailer. The 18 wheeler skidded on the snowy interstate and crashed into the guardrail running alongside the outer edge of the highway. The semi trailer hit a bridge abutment then plowed forward over the guardrail before it finally came to a stop. The force of the truck accident left the cab section dangling over the edge, just above railroad tracks for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.

No other vehicles were involved in the truck accident.

Emergency personnel from the Cle Elum Volunteer Fire Department responded to the crash scene. The driver, Mr. Dam, was apparently able to escape from the cab section of the tractor trailer and was not injured in the truck accident.


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Police immediately shut down the westbound lanes of I-90 around the truck accident scene and diverted traffic to secondary routes. Officials also alerted authorities with BNSF Railway that the semi cab was hanging over their railroad tracks. It is not known if the railway had to alter any train schedules due to the truck accident.

Willette’s Towing, based in Cle Elum, sent a heavy duty tow truck and a work team to secure the dangling cab and get it off the guardrail. It would take almost three hours to remove the tractor trailer from the truck accident site. The semi trailer was destroyed in the crash and subsequent removal process. A section of the interstate guardrail where the semi trailer crashed was also damaged.

The westbound lanes of I-90 were eventually reopened at around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, about three hours after the truck accident.

Officers with Washington State Patrol and the Washington Department of Transportation reconstructed the single vehicle crash. They determined that although the road was slippery the semi driver was responsible for the truck accident. Mr. Dam was cited for Driving With Wheels Off the Roadway.

At this time it is not known if the driver or his company will be held responsible for the financial cost of removing the cab off the guardrail and cleaning up the truck accident scene. Authorities have not released the amount of the towing company’s fee or the cost for the repair work for the interstate guardrail.

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. Gordon, Elias & Seely LLP are licensed in Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and Washington, DC and have informal relationships with other truck accident lawyers. Visit our Washington truck accident lawyer page or call 800.773.6770.

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