MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) - Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency in three counties around a collapsed Interstate 5 bridge that sent two vehicles plunging into a river north of Seattle.
Three people were pulled from the water. Miraculously, nobody was killed when thousands of pounds of concrete and steel accompanied the vehicles into the Skagit River.
Inslee said in his proclamation Friday that the bridge collapse has caused extensive disruption, impacting the citizens and economy in Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom Counties.
PICS | Rescue efforts in Washington bridge collapse http://bit.ly/ZhtDQ7
The governor is instructing the emergency management division of the Washington State Military Department to coordinate all assistance to the affected areas.
Inslee says state agencies should do everything reasonably possible to assist the local areas in responding and recovering from the event.
Trucker saw bridge collapse in mirror
The wife of a Canadian trucker whose rig caused the collapse of says a special vehicle called a pole car had travelled the route to make sure the load would fit.
The state confirmed there was a vehicle escort for the load.
Cynthia Scott, of Spruce Grove, Alberta, says she spoke with her husband, Bill Scott, moments after he saw the bridge fall into a river in his rear-view mirror.
The Washington State Patrol says the oversize load of drilling equipment hit an upper support girder on the bridge.
Cynthia Scott says there was a small ding in one of the front corners of the load.
Bill Scott voluntarily gave a blood sample for an alcohol test and was not arrested.
Witness Francisco Rodriguez looked at the damage Tuesday evening and realized the area has lost an important transportation link.
Officials said drivers should expect delays at the break in the major north-south highway about 60 miles north of Seattle. Detours have been set up to try to ease the congestion.