Three people were killed and four injured on Interstate 5 in Marysville yesterday when a driver lost control of his pickup and slammed into...

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A family of three was killed and four other people were injured on Interstate 5 in Marysville yesterday when a driver lost control of his pickup and slammed into two cars, according to the State Patrol.

Traffic, already exceptionally heavy because of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, was backed up for miles as the northbound freeway lanes were closed for nearly 4 ½ hours. Southbound traffic through the area slowed significantly as motorists surveyed the scene, Trooper Lance Ramsay said.

Ramsay gave the following account:

The truck driver was towing a travel trailer when he apparently drove out of the southbound lanes near the 116th Street Northeast exit, across the grassy median and into northbound traffic. The pickup hit a silver Toyota Prius at 2:24 p.m., causing the Toyota to roll over.

The pickup continued across the northbound lanes and collided with a red Ford Taurus, causing that car to roll over. The car’s driver, Darrell Knapp, 41, and his wife, Sandra Knapp, 42, were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the State Patrol. Their 7-year-old son, Noah, who was in the back seat, died later at Harborview Medical Center, the State Patrol said.

All three people in the Toyota, whose names were unavailable, were taken to Everett Medical Center’s Colby Campus, where they were treated for serious injuries.

The driver of the pickup had minor injuries and was also taken to the Colby Campus.

Troopers aren’t sure what caused the man to lose control of his pickup.

Almost immediately after the crash, all three northbound lanes were shut down. Until one lane reopened at 7 p.m., traffic was diverted off the interstate at the 116th Street Northeast exit and taken through downtown Marysville. Drivers were routed back onto the freeway at 172nd Street Northeast in Smokey Point, Ramsay said.

The crash site is only a few miles south of where an 18-year-old woman was killed and five other people injured on Dec. 15.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or

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