Two hurt in head-on crash on Highway 502

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian Breaking News Reporter



Two hurt in head-on crash on Highway 502

Two people were sent to area hospitals after a head-on crash on state Highway 502 near Interstate 5 Wednesday morning.

A 2007 Chevrolet pickup was westbound on the highway when it reportedly crossed the center line and struck a 2001 Freightliner truck that had just exited from northbound Interstate 5 and was turning east onto Highway 502, according to Washington State Patrol Trooper Will Finn. The crash occurred just before 6 a.m.

Both drivers required extrication, and crews from Clark County Fire & Rescue worked for 15 minutes to get the drivers out of the mangled metal, agency spokesman Tim Dawdy said.

“This was a very, very difficult extrication,” he said. “The young person was badly entangled in the wreckage.”

The driver of the Chevy, a 16-year-old Vancouver boy, was transported to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center with serious injuries including a broken hand, facial laceration and a possibly broken leg, Finn said.

The driver of the Freightliner truck, Richard Wassmuth, 51, of Vancouver was transported to Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center with leg lacerations, Finn said. He was treated and released.

Eastbound lanes of Highway 502 were blocked for about an hour and a half while troopers investigated.

Troopers cited the 16-year-old boy for negligent driving. His name was not released.

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