- Associated Press - Saturday, July 18, 2015

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) - A dump truck carrying gravel crossed the median of Interstate 5 in Mount Vernon on Saturday, injuring at least six people when it plowed into oncoming traffic that was stopped while police investigated an earlier shooting, authorities said.

Twenty-three vehicles were involved in the collision, and traffic backed up for miles as lanes were closed in both directions. As of about 6:45 p.m., all lanes of the interstate were re-opened for traffic.

Injuries ranged from minor to critical. Two people were airlifted to a Seattle hospital, said Trooper Mark Francis of the Washington State Patrol.

The truck driver had a broken arm and chest injuries, and may have had a medical condition that caused the crash, Francis told KING-TV.

Authorities say the truck was hauling a mixture of clay and gravel and traveling southbound when it broke through a cable barrier in the median into the northbound lanes.

“It was bumper-to-bumper traffic, and then … it was like the semi just flew over the whole median and there was dirt everywhere,” witness Bobby Grace told KOMO-TV. “So much dirt, it was like a sand storm. It was astonishing.”

Before the crash, traffic was slowed for the shooting investigation. Troopers were called to the area and found two men in their 20s dead inside a vehicle just after 3 a.m., the Seattle Times reported.

A passenger escaped and called police, telling investigators that a vehicle pulled up next to the car and someone inside opened fire.

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Information from: KING-TV, https://www.king5.com/

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