Wreck sends Vancouver man to hospital

Multiple wrecks reported on I-5 this morning

By Ray Legendre, Columbian staff writer

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A 78-year-old Vancouver man was hospitalized after he lost control of his car on Interstate 5 and struck a guardrail near 199th Street, the Washington State Patrol said.

According to police, Norbert Richter was driving northbound around 5:15 a.m. when 2001 Chrysler Sebring car spun out, hit the guardrail and came to rest facing southbound on the right shoulder. Richter was traveling too fast for the icy conditions, police said.

Richter, who was wearing his seat belt, suffered chest trauma and was brought to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, police said. His condition was not immediately known.

Alcohol and drugs were not believed to have factored into the crash, police said. Richter’s vehicle was totaled.

Around 6:30 a.m., three vehicles spun out near the same area — two crashed into the median and a third struck the guardrail, according to Fire District 6. No injuries were reported.

Fire officials urged motorists to drive slowly and leave extra space between their vehicle and others while traveling in freezing temperatures and fog.