By EMRY DINMAN
MOSES LAKE — A fiery collision on Interstate 90 in Moses Lake caused significant delays for drivers over the weekend.
The accident, reported to the Washington State Patrol around 1:30 p.m. Saturday, involved a 2018 Volvo tractor and trailer, driven by Matthew Pabon, 26, of Surrey, British Columbia, striking a guardrail on I-90 near the Half-Sun Travel Plaza exit in Moses Lake. The semi went on to strike a concrete barrier, which caused the rear axle of the tractor and the two axles on the trailer to become dislodged. The frames came to a rest on the deck of the eastbound I-90 bridge, while the tractor and trailer continued across the bridge until it jackknifed and caught on fire.
Pabon was injured and transported to Samaritan Hospital for treatment. His 46-year-old male passenger in the semi was not injured.
Troopers were not immediately aware on Saturday as to what caused the fire to break out inside of the semi cab, but the truck's load of produce stored in cardboard boxes contributed to an hours-long pillar of smoke rising from the wreckage. Wheels, axles and the semi cab could be seen scattered across the highway. Fire control and cleanup took a few hours to complete on Saturday, causing both eastbound and westbound I-90 to be fully blocked for over two hours.
The patrol has listed the official cause of the collision as driver inattention and Pabon was cited for driving with his wheels off of the roadway.
Emry Dinman can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.