Traffic snarled in Gorge after landslide, fatal crash

ODOT not sure when I-84 will reopen

By Emily Gillespie and Patty Hastings

Published:

Updated: February 13, 2014, 5:43 PM

 

Traffic in the Columbia River Gorge was snarled Thursday after a fatal head-on collision near the Bridge of the Gods temporarily closed state Highway 14, one of the detour routes for a rockslide blocking Interstate 84.

The crash was reported midafternoon Thursday in Skamania County, about 2 miles west of Stevenson. According to the Washington State Patrol, an eastbound Honda S2000 driven by Chad Bretsch, 42, of Philomath, Ore., crossed the center line after taking a curve to the left and collided with an oncoming Ford F-150 pickup, driven by Karl Wilkie, 58, of Carson. Bretsch was pronounced dead at the scene. Wilkie was transported to Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital.

The collision near North Bonneville was about 15 miles outside of Clark County. State Highway 14 was temporarily closed in the area; alternating lanes of traffic were diverted around the crash until the roadway reopened around 6:30 p.m.

The collision backed up traffic for miles. One way for drivers to get around the I-84 closure was to take Interstate 205 north into Washington, connect with state Highway 14 and head east until they can re-enter Oregon over the Hood River Bridge.