Single-vehicle crash blocks I-5 exit to 39th Street

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

Updated: May 8, 2013, 5:05 PM

 

Washington State Patrol said that it appears a driver experienced a medical emergency while driving, causing a single-vehicle crash that closed the East 39th Street exit to Interstate 5 southbound for about an hour and a half Wednesday afternoon.

Nathan Yerkes, 25, of Scappoose, Ore. was driving a 2002 Ford Explorer east on East 39th Street about 11:30 a.m. and for an unknown reason veered of 39th Street, went down an embankment and struck a concrete barrier on the southbound I-5 exit, according to the State Patrol. His vehicle came to rest on the off-ramp, blocking traffic, said Trooper Will Finn, spokesman for the State Patrol.

The driver was unconscious when state patrol arrived, though Finn said the impact shouldn’t have caused the driver to become unconscious. Medical personnel transported him to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center and his SUV was towed from the scene.

Drugs or alcohol do not appear to be involved, Finn said. Charges are still under investigation by the State Patrol.