Driver missing after stolen car rolls on I-5, crashes into tree, catches on fire

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

Updated: July 10, 2013, 8:50 PM

 
photoFirefighters and police couldn't locate the driver of this stolen Kia sedan after it crashed alongside Interstate 5 and caught on fire.

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Police and fire personnel on Wednesday were unable to find the driver of a Kia sedan that rolled several times on Interstate 5 northbound in Kalama before crashing into a tree and catching on fire.

The Kia was reported stolen out of Shelton, according to Washington State Patrol Trooper Steve Schatzel.

The crash occurred just after 11:30 a.m. near milepost 30 in Cowlitz County, according to emergency dispatch logs. A Woodland engine with Clark County Fire & Rescue was nearby and responded to the site, where firefighters found the passenger and motor compartment on fire, said Battalion Chief Tim Dawdy. Firefighters aggressively attacked the fire, not knowing if anyone was still inside. The blaze also started a small brush fire around the tree.

Although emergency responders thoroughly checked the area, they were not able to locate anyone.

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources and Cowlitz fire districts 1 and 5 also responded to the accident site.