Twin two-car collisions on Interstate 405 and its southbound on-ramp at NE 70th Street Wednesday evening -- the first at the peak of the commute -- resulted in the closure of 70th and snarled traffic for hours.
The first collision, at the southbound on-ramp to 405 at 70th around 5 p.m., caused non-life threatening injuries to both drivers, who were taken to separate area hospitals, said Kirkland Fire Department Capt. Bryan Vadney.
The second accident, sometime not long after the first, was actually on Interstate 405 and might have been the result of a driver distracted by the police and fire response to the first.
Three Kirkland Patch readers reported serious backups from 5 p.m. until after 9 p.m. on NE 70th, a secondary arterial between Rose Hill and Kirkland’s Houghton area that goes over I-405, where it becomes NE 72nd Place and then NE 68th just to the west.
“(Police) went ahead and closed 70th near the on-ramp because of the debris scattered” by the first accident, Vadney said. “But it wasn’t that serious. There weren’t significant injuries.”
Traffic backups were exacerbated by the fact there are few detours to the south and the best way around to the north is on already busy NE 85th, the main thoroughfare between downtown Redmond and Kirkland.