At least six injured in two Clark County crashes

Both collisions, one north of Orchards, one on I-205, involve three vehicles

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

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Several people were injured in two major vehicle crashes Wednesday evening that caused traffic problems around Clark County.

Two women and a 5-year-old girl were injured in a three-car collision north of Orchards that supposedly was caused by brake failure.

At 5:15 p.m., a Dodge Durango heading north on Northeast 132nd Avenue went through a stop sign at 119th Street, said sheriff's office Sgt. Randon Walker. The driver of the Durango said her brakes failed.

A BMW M3 heading east on 119th Street tried to swerve out of the path of the Durango, but the SUV still hit the sedan in the passenger's side, Walker said. The BMW, meanwhile, crashed into the driver's side of an Audi A6 heading west on 119th. The Audi ended up in a ditch at the northeast corner of the intersection, while the BMW was smashed between the Audi and Durango.

The woman driving the BMW was trapped for several minutes before Fire District 3 and Vancouver firefighters cut off the roof and side doors of her vehicle to get her out. She had a fractured leg and facial injuries, Walker said.

"Head and facial injuries are always unpredictable," he said.

The woman driving the BMW and a woman and 5-year-old girl in the Audi were transported to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. The woman driving the Durango was uninjured.

Names of those involved were not released and their conditions wereunknown, although Walker believed none was in serious condition.

The county public works crews helped redirect traffic around the intersection for about an hour. Northeast 119th was blocked near state Highway 503, causing many motorists to make U-turns and find alternate routes.

All of the cars were towed, pending further investigation by the Clark County Sheriff's Office, Walker said. Alcohol was not believed to be a factor.

Glass splinters, car parts and fashion magazines littered the pavement. Construction workers working on a home near the intersection were uninjured by flying debris.

Lead Detective Jim Payne spray painted the tire and scrape marks on the road that were created during the collision, and photographed and forensically mapped the crash site.

Second serious crash

About an hour later, a multiple-vehicle collision on Interstate 205 northbound, just south of Highway 500, clogged traffic and injured at least three. Details on the accident were scarce Wednesday night.

At 6:24 p.m., traffic slowed on I-205, and a vehicle in the right lane swerved across all three traffic lanes to the left to avoid a collision, striking a vehicle, said Washington State Patrol Trooper Will Finn. A third vehicle was involved and ended up on its side.

At least three people were transported to a hospital, including two young children, Finn said.

Responding officers had a tough time getting to the scene. A Vancouver patrol car was spotted driving on the grass median to get around clogged traffic.

Initially, all three northbound traffic lanes were blocked, backing up traffic past Mill Plain Boulevard. All three lanes opened around 7:30 p.m.