UPDATE: Several accidents snarl traffic on Highway 14

At least two of the six collisions were related, police say

By John Branton, Columbian Staff Reporter

Published:

Updated: August 25, 2011, 10:38 PM

 

Body shops and tow truck operators stood to make a lot of money Thursday afternoon in the wake of six separate collisions on state Highway 14 eastbound near Interstate 205.

No serious injuries were reported, but there were a few minor injuries.

Emergency radio scanners at The Columbian started coming alive with collision calls about 4:30 p.m. and it stayed that way for an hour.

At least one accident was related to another.

At 4:51 p.m., Travis S. Evans, 38, of Washougal was driving a 2005 Kia Sportage east when he crashed into the rear of a 2008 Ford pickup driven by Joe Zunino, 33, of Washougal.

Zunino and two other drivers had been stopped for a previous collision ahead of them on Highway 14, according to a bulletin from the Washington State Patrol.

The impact pushed the pickup into the rear of a 2010 Buick Lacrosse, which was pushed into the rear of a 2008 Honda Accord.

Evans suffered facial lacerations and a possible spinal injury, the bulletin said. Thursday night, he was in the emergency department of PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center and his condition was not yet available, a hospital employee said.

Zunino was treated at the medical center and released later Thursday.

The other two drivers were not reported injured.

The four-vehicle chain-reaction crash was caused by inattention on Evans’ part; charges are pending, the report said.

At 5:06 p.m. there was another rear-end collision, the most frequent type on freeways and state highways in Clark County.

Ellen B. Scheps, 54, of Vancouver had been driving a 1995 Nissan Maxima on the interchange ramp from I-205 northbound to Highway 14 westbound, at Highway 14's Milepost 6.

A WSP bulletin says a 2000 Volkswagen Beetle driven by Dawn C. Dalgliesh, 37, of Portland had stopped for traffic ahead of her.

Scheps was driving too fast and unable to stop before crashing into the rear of the Volkswagen, the bulletin said.

Scheps was ticketed for driving too fast for conditions, the bulletin said.

It was hard to explain why so many crashes happened in about the same area and at the same time, but they kept Vancouver firefighters, state troopers and paramedics with AMR Northwest ambulance service busy and snarled traffic for hours.

A WSP dispatcher remarked that the weather was good.

“Sometimes, it just happens,” she said.

Details of the other four crashes were not immediately available from the WSP, which generally emails bulletins to news media when there are somewhat serious or fatal injuries.

Crash on I-205

At 7:13 p.m., there was a rollover crash on I-205 southbound, just north of Southeast Mill Plain Boulevard.

The Vancouver Fire Department sent two fire engines — and its heavy rescue truck because someone was trapped in a vehicle and had to be extricated, said Capt. Kevin Murray.

A WSP dispatcher said one person was sent to a hospital with injuries not believed life-threatening.

John Branton: 735-4513 or john.branton@columbian.com.