Semi driver arrested for impairment in SR 512 crash near Puyallup

PUYALLUP, Wash. — A crash with injuries briefly shut down State Route 512 near Pioneer Avenue in Pierce County Thursday.

Washington State Trooper Todd Bartolac said a semi driver was arrested for suspicion of impairment.

He said the collision involved five cars and the semi truck. Two people were transported the hospital, one with a serious injury who was heading into surgery.

Derek West was traveling in the area when he saw the truck veer out of control and slam into the back of the car.

“All I could do is react and try to pull my van off the side of the road before the semi pushed the car past me,” said West who was traveling to his next job site when the crash occurred.

West said the semi truck finally stopped and that’s when he noticed the small car was mangled. He quickly jumped into action to try and help out.

“After I noticed the door wasn’t opening I backed up and took a running start and just basically hit the window with my fist,” added West.

West said the woman inside was unconscious so he held her neck as he waited for more help. Within minutes he says the woman regained consciousness.

“At that point, I turned to her and asked her I could say a prayer for her and she was coherent and she accepted it and soon after that I was released by officials, said West.

West says he just wanted to comfort the woman in her time of need, but admits he didn’t really think about what he was doing, he simply was just reacting to everything.

“I’m just trying to comfort here the best I can, telling her it’s alright we’re here. It was probably the craziest day I’ve had in my entire life,” said West.

A criminal investigation is ongoing.

The interchange remained closed for several hours as crews investigated the crash and cleared the wreckage.