Westbound lanes of Interstate 90 reopened early Friday afternoon, eastbound lanes shortly after 7:30 p.m.
A series of collisions, including one that resulted in a death, forced an hourslong closure of Interstate 90 at Snoqualmie Pass Friday.
I-90 closed in both directions between North Bend and Ellensburg before 6 a.m. Friday. Westbound lanes reopened early Friday afternoon, but eastbound lanes remained closed into the evening as crews worked to clear vehicles and clean a spill, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). The eastbound lanes reopened shortly after 7:30 p.m.
Authorities responded to multiple collisions on the roadway Friday morning amid icy conditions.
A fatal collision involving four semi-trucks and a pickup occurred on eastbound I-90 near milepost 62 just before 5 a.m., Washington State Patrol Trooper John Bryant said. Two trucks collided and rolled over, blocking the roadway, which led the other trucks to collide. A 67-year-old man died at the scene, Bryant said.
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The crash was still under investigation and it’s not yet clear whether icy conditions or speed was to blame, Bryant said.
Shortly after, troopers responded to another collision on westbound I-90 involving three semi-trucks and three cars near milepost 61. After that, I-90 was shut down at North Bend and in different spots westbound, Bryant said.
After a period of rain, the cool morning temperatures brought icy conditions. WSDOT treated the roadway in the morning, but some hard-to-see patches of ice had formed, Bryant said. He recommended drivers slow down when driving in cold-weather conditions.
The collisions Friday caused two separate oil spills, according to the Washington State Department of Ecology. During the fatal crash involving trucks traveling east, oil spilled onto the roadway but did not get into any bodies of water, said Ecology spokeswoman Sandy Howard.
During another crash involving a truck traveling west near Easton, 120 gallons of diesel spilled into a storm drain that flowed into a wetland, causing a large sheen. A contractor put absorbent pads in the drain and water and then took precautions to keep the spill from spreading, Howard said.
The interstate closure also stifled operations at the Summit at Snoqualmie as some staff were unable to access the mountain, and ski-school instructors were unsure if the pass would reopen in time for Friday-evening classes, general manager Guy Lawrence said.
A “skeleton crew” of mostly managers and supervisors made it to the mountain, Lawrence said. The Summit Central area of the mountain was open Friday afternoon but Summit West and Alpental were closed.
Lawrence declined to estimate the financial hit to the Summit due to the closure.
“We roll with it,” he said. “We’re kind of used to anything and everything up here. Tomorrow should be new day. We will be going full tilt, I’m sure.”