A man was killed this afternoon when he was ejected from a car on a long, sweeping freeway ramp off Interstate 5 in Federal Way, according to the Washington State Patrol.
State Patrol Trooper Cliff Pratt said the 27-year-old driver of the gray 1992 Honda Accord was driving too fast on the ramp to eastbound Highway 18 at 12:20 p.m. when she lost control of the vehicle, which went into a ditch on the side of the road and rolled multiple times.
Pratt said that both the driver and the passenger were ejected from the car and the vehicle caught fire. Had they been wearing seat belts, he said, the accident might have been “survivable” despite the flames.
“They would have been banged up,” said Pratt, “but this was a very survivable crash. The interior passenger compartment is intact. Had they had their seat belts on, she would have been looking at a DUI.”
The driver, of Shelton, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular homicide, police said. She is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries at St. Francis Hospital.
According to Pratt, firefighters and troopers arrived shortly after the accident and found the woman, who allegedly said she was the only occupant of the car.
As the fire was extinguished, the body of the male passenger was found. He had no identification on him, police said, but was estimated to be in his mid-30s.
Pratt said the ramp onto Highway 18 from northbound I-5 is expected to remain closed at least through 6 p.m.