Vancouver teen suffers fractured neck in I-5 crash

Two ambulances summoned to transport injured

By Ray Legendre and Paul Suarez

Published:

Updated: May 16, 2012, 8:42 PM

 

A 16-year-old Vancouver boy suffered a fractured neck Wednesday morning as a result of a two-vehicle wreck in which the SUV he was a passenger in rolled over near the East Mill Plain exit off northbound Interstate 5, Washington State Patrol said.

According to police, a green 1997 Toyota 4Runner driven by Zachary Enochs, 18, of Vancouver, made an unsafe lane change near the exit around 11:13 a.m., striking the left front of a 2007 Mazda CX9 driven by Kathlene Benitez, 53, of Salem, Ore. The Toyota SUV spun to the right, rolled over and came to rest blocking the Mill Plain offramp, police said.

All three teens riding in the Toyota were transported to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. Passenger Cody Dalton, 16, suffered a fractured neck and leg injuries, according to police. He was wearing a seat belt. He was reported in satisfactory condition Wednesday evening.

Enochs and passenger Christopher Garza, 17, of Vancouver, were treated at the hospital for cuts and bruises. They were both properly restrained at the time of the crash, police said.

Neither of the Mazda’s two occupants reported injuries.

Both vehicles suffered serious damage. The Toyota SUV was totaled while the Mazda sustained $3,000 worth of damage, police said.

Truck 1 and Engine 1 from the Vancouver Fire Department and a battalion chief from Clark County Fire District 6 responded to the crash. Firefighters closed the exit after finding a large amount of debris on the roadway.

State Patrol arrived about six minutes after the crash was reported, said Trooper Ryan Tanner of Washington State Patrol. Troopers investigated the crash while firefighters treated patients and helped clean up the scene.

The exit reopened around noon. The freeway and shared exit to Fourth Plain remained open during the response.

The investigation remains ongoing. Charges are pending, police said.