Tanker crash closes eastbound I-90 over pass; snowstorm could prolong delays

NORTH BEND, Wash. -- Eastbound I-90 was closed all Tuesday morning and afternoon because of a fuel tanker involved in a crash spilled fuel all over the road.

Crews spent all day trying to clean up the spilled fuel and get the crashed tanker truck back onto its wheels. The Washington State Department of Transportation said it hoped to reopen eastbound I-90 by 7 p.m.

A predicted snowstorm could mean delays last even longer.

The backups began early, choking the roads near North Bend.

Drivers like Leona Gollem just want to get home.

“I’m just going to wait it out and see what happens,” she said.

“I’m stuck here,” said trucker Jose Alcazar. “I had to go get something to eat.”

Alcazar is trying to get to Yakima but by Tuesday morning he was out of drive-time hours and options. Now he’s stuck like everyone else.

“We’re going to be here for a while,” said Eastside Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Richard Burke.

State troopers said a pickup truck collided with a double tanker semi hauling diesel and gasoline. The crash pushed the tanker off the road and over the guardrail, tossing fuel on the eastbound lanes of I-90.

Crews had to keep the gas out of a nearby creek -- and then find a way to unload the rest of the fuel.

Adding traffic to the mix was too dangerous an option, so troopers closed the eastbound lanes.

Gollem said she planned to hold out as long as she could or otherwise try crossing Snoqualmie Pass on Wednesday.

“If not, I’m going to head and try to find a hotel somewhere,” she said.

Once I-90 finally reopens, drivers will have to deal with a winter storm predicted to dump a foot of snow over the pass by Thursday.