Amid Wednesday’s record-breaking rainfall, a tractor-trailer and three other vehicles were involved in an injury crash on Interstate 205 in Vancouver that clogged traffic for several hours.
The collision, reported at 4:19 p.m. in the southbound lanes of the freeway just north of state Highway 14, injured three people, according to Washington State Patrol. The crash also blocked two lanes, backing traffic up to state Highway 500, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
According to the state patrol, all four vehicles were traveling south on I-205 when a 2004 Ford Mustang driven by Zane Norris, 24, of Camas lost control and struck the tractor-trailer, driven by Daniel Cole, 48, of Canby, Ore.
The collision caused the tractor-trailer to rear end a 1987 Toyota Tacoma driven by Joshua Poole, 23, of Vancouver. The tractor-trailer then struck the embankment on the right side of the freeway and fell on its side. The Toyota left the roadway and flipped on its top.
At about the same time, a 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX driven by Judith Holloway, 50, of Portland collided with the errant tractor-trailer.
Poole, the Toyota’s driver, and his passenger, Bethany Lewis, 33, of Vancouver, suffered injuries in the crash and were transported to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. They were discharged from the emergency room Wednesday evening, according to hospital staff.
Holloway, the Subaru’s driver, also sustained injuries and was transported to Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center in Clackamas, Ore., according to WSP. Her condition was not available Wednesday night.
Norris, the driver of the Mustang, and Cole, the driver of the tractor-trailer, were not injured.
WSP said the crash was caused by Norris driving too fast for road conditions, and he was cited for speeding.
It took nearly three hours for crews to clear the scene.
Clark County experienced spurts of heavy rain in areas throughout the day, according to Colby Neuman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Portland. A backyard weather station in Camas reported one-fourth of an inch in a 15-minute period, and a station near Brush Prairie measured .49 inches in another 15-minute stretch.
Those bouts of heavy rain didn’t hit the agency’s official weather station at Pearson Field, Neuman said. Still, a measured .52 inches of rain by 8 p.m. at Pearson surpassed the July 23 record of .47 inches of rainfall set in 1918. Other areas, such as Brush Prairie, Battle Ground, Amboy and Yacolt, experienced lightning, Neuman said.
Wednesday nearly matched the record for the coolest high temperature. On July 23, 1918, the high was 65 degrees. On Wednesday, it was 67 degrees.
A few days of cool temperatures and rain might seem odd in late July, but it’s actually pretty normal, Neuman said.
A cold front from the gulf of Alaska that brought steady rain and cool temperatures to Clark County should start to move out by late Thursday or early Friday, bringing back more seasonable warm, dry weather, he said.
“The lower-level temperatures we’ve had tend to happen every year in the middle of summer like this,” Neuman said.
“It may seem unusual but it’s not that unusual, actually.”
Overall, rainfall amounts for the summer are fairly average. “This summer so far has really been pretty close to normal,” Neuman said.
Warm weather fans should get a solid dose of what they’re looking for starting on Friday.
Thursday’s temperatures should reach the high 70s or low 80s, with Friday and Saturday reaching the mid 80s and Sunday heating up to the low 90s, Neuman said.
“We’re going right back to summer after this,” he said. “It still looks pretty warm next week, too, although it’s a bit soon to say for sure.”