All lanes south of Interstate 5 at the Ship Canal Bridge in Seattle were closed due to the collision of two overturned cars. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) tweeted about the crash south of Northeast 45th Street at 4:40 AM.
WSDOT said drivers should use alternate routes and be prepared for delays during the morning commute. The department said drivers should avoid the mainline on I-5 South or expect severe delays.
There was a reservation about three miles south of I-5 at 6:50 AM. Washington State Patrol Police (WSP) Rick Johnson said the driver of one of the vehicles was missing.
WSP police officer Richard Allen said the missing driver was believed to be a man. There were conflicting reports and unclear if the driver drove away from the scene or if he was thrown from the vehicle into the water during the crash.
Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman Kristin Tinsley said water rescue crews responded to the scene and divers were in the water about 15 minutes after the accident was reported.
Tinsley said two rescue swimmers were called from shore. Harbor patrols may shoot a diver into the water under the bridge to search the area. Two rescue swimmers and a diver searched the area for about an hour.
The search turns into a recovery mission around 5:45 am due to the amount of time that elapses. Johnson said that the driver of the vehicle who remained at the scene was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Southbound traffic was diverted to Northeast 45th Street. WSDOT tweeted that the I-5 express lane was open to southbound drivers. All northern paths are unlocked.