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UPDATE | Everett motorist dies driving wrong way on I-5 near Marysville

Crews work to clear the site of a Feb. 18 fatal accident on I-5. The multi-vehilce accident, which killed one and sent two others to the hospital, was caused by a driver going northbound in the southbound lanes of I-5. - Photo courtesy of Bill Gillam
Crews work to clear the site of a Feb. 18 fatal accident on I-5. The multi-vehilce accident, which killed one and sent two others to the hospital, was caused by a driver going northbound in the southbound lanes of I-5.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Bill Gillam

MARYSVILLE — An Everett motorist died driving northbound on the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 near Marysville.

Robert Asselin, a 43-year-old Everett man, was killed after his vehicle struck those of a 33-year-old Stanwood woman and a 54-year-old Marysville man just north of Fourth Street on I-5 on the morning of Feb. 18.

911 received the first of three cell phone calls reporting a driver heading the wrong way on I-5 at approximately 5:05 a.m., according to Washington State Patrol Trooper Keith Leary.

"Shortly after troopers were dispatched to locate the vehicle, it had already crashed," Leary said. "Troopers were on the scene within seconds of the accident occurring."

Troopers are still investigating to determine at what point Asselin might have entered I-5 heading the wrong way, although Leary noted that the earliest call placed the driver just north of milepost 198.

"He could have accessed I-5 from Everett Avenue or Marine View Drive," Leary said. "There's plenty of theories, but we just don't know for sure."

Leary likewise remained neutral on whether drugs or alcohol played a part in Asselin's actions.

"We didn't find anything at the scene to indicate either way," Leary said. "He did have a valid driver's license. Impaired driving tends to be one of the first possibilities that we look at, but he could have gotten confused or not been paying attention. There was no fog on the road. If the toxicology comes back positive, it could give a clearer indication, but we'll probably never know for certain."

Asselin was killed when his 1998 Chevrolet Monte Carlo struck the Marysville man's 1997 Dodge Ram pickup truck, knocking the truck onto its passenger side and blocking two lanes of traffic. The Chevy then struck the Stanwood woman's 2007 Dodge Caliber while rotating from its blow with the pickup, blocking the third lane of traffic. The accident closed all southbound lanes of I-5 until approximately 8:30 a.m. The Marysville man and the Stanwood woman were transported to the Colby Campus of the Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett with non-life-threatening injuries.

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