A series of bizarre incidents led to a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 5 near Lakewood, Washington, that sent two people to the hospital with serious injuries. Authorities also closed down all northbound lanes of traffic for more than 13 hours, causing traffic backup that affected the morning commute.

Early in the morning last Monday, authorities were in pursuit of an SUV on I-5 for unspecified reasons. The driver of the SUV continued fleeing even after law enforcement had broken off the chase and came upon the scene of a fire in a semi-truck. No information is available as to the cause of this fire.

Fire trucks and law enforcement vehicles had responded to the scene of the fire in the semi-truck, which carried a cargo of cheesecake and shrimp. The SUV reportedly crashed into five other vehicles altogether, including a civilian vehicle, a government vehicle in service to the Washington State Department of Transportation, a patrol car and two fire trucks.

The SUV contained at least one passenger in addition to the driver. Both sustained serious injuries requiring transportation to the hospital. There is no report of any other injuries in connection with the crash. However, authorities report that the DOT’s vehicle had its door ripped off on the driver’s side. It is unclear whether anyone was inside the vehicle at the time.

Authorities gradually opened up the northbound lanes of I-5 to relieve the backed-up traffic. However, it was early afternoon before all lanes reopened, more than 13 hours after the fire that set the events in motion that eventually led to the crash.

It can sometimes be difficult to determine liability for a multi-vehicle car accident. Those wondering if they have a claim may find it helpful to contact an attorney.