Wrong-way Highway 14 wreck injures 5

By John Branton and Laura McVicker

Published:

Updated: July 17, 2010, 7:33 PM

 

A Friday night crash involving a wrong-way driver on state Highway 14 sent five people to the hospital — including one with serious injuries — and blocked traffic for hours, the Washington State Patrol reported.

The crash happened at 9:42 p.m. just east of Interstate 5, when a Vancouver man, Samuel Jacobo-Rodriguez, 24, was driving the wrong way and collided with an oncoming station wagon carrying four people, according to police reports. The crash occurred in the westbound lanes of state Highway 14.

The driver of the station wagon, Barbara Roll, 53, was rushed to Portland’s Legacy Emanuel Hospital. She was in serious condition Saturday evening.

Her passengers, Carmen Dean, 50, and Heidi Schneider, 40, both of Vancouver, and Kevin Belknap, 50, of Battle Ground, also were injured and taken to separate hospitals, according to a WSP bulletin. They were all treated and released.

Jacobo-Rodriguez was taken to Southwest Washington Medical Center, where he was treated and released. Later, he was cited on suspicion of two counts of vehicular assault, according to WSP.

WSP Trooper Steve Schatzel said a Vancouver police officer had been following Jacobo-Rodriguez, who is alleged to have been impaired, in downtown Vancouver and he appeared to have entered the westbound lanes of the highway from C Street, near the Regal Cinema, headed east.

Despite warning signs there, Jacobo-Rodriguez ended up headed east in the westbound lanes of state Highway 14 and collided head-on with Roll’s vehicle, Schatzel said.

Schatzel said the police officer had signaled the wrong-way driver to pull over, but wasn’t in full-fledged pursuit, and the officer’s patrol car was not involved in the collision.

The wreck blocked all lanes of traffic until about 12:20 a.m. Saturday.