Wrong-way driver in fatal I-5 crash dies

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

Updated: March 12, 2014, 9:04 PM

 

The Vancouver man involved in a fatal wrong-way crash on Interstate 5 last month has died, according to Washington State Patrol.

Gage Musgrave, 84, died Tuesday night from health issues that resulted from his injuries in the Feb. 28 collision, Trooper Will Finn said.

Musgrave had been taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center following the crash, but was eventually transferred to the Ray Hickey Hospice House, Finn said.

Troopers said Musgrave was driving a 2005 Toyota Avalon south in the northbound lanes of I-5 at about 2 p.m. Feb. 28 when his car struck a 2008 Nissan Altima near the freeway’s exit for Battle Ground.

Ericka Gorremans, 32, of La Center was driving the Nissan, which also contained her 10-year-old son, Clayton, and her 6-year-old nephew, Henry Babitzke. Henry died in the crash.

Gorremans and Clayton were taken to OHSU Hospital. Gorremans was listed in fair condition Wednesday afternoon. Clayton’s condition was not available.

Finn said traffic detectives interviewed Musgrave immediately following the crash, but planned to interview him for a second time after reviewing 911 calls and interviewing witnesses. They never did that second interview.

State Patrol said that at the time of the crash Musgrave showed no signs of impairment and had been cooperating with detectives throughout the investigation.

“He hadn’t been well enough for us to re-interview him since the collision,” Finn said. Even without the information they would have received from Musgrave, Finn said detectives “will do a complete investigation as we would with any collision.”

No charges have been filed in the case, Finn said.

Investigators will analyze the dynamics of the crash and continue to interview witnesses to find answers to some of the unanswered questions, Finn said, including where Musgrave entered I-5.

Musgrave had lived in the Salmon Creek area since at least 2004. His wife, Helen, died in December 2010. A neighbor said that Musgrave was a nice guy who was always smiling and could be seen taking care of his lawn.

Gorremans and her son were wearing safety restraints during the crash, according to a press memo sent out by the State Patrol. Whether or not Henry was in a restraint, however, is being investigated.

An online fundraiser set up to help pay for Gorremans’ and Clayton’s medical care had raised $2,150 by Wednesday night.

Reporters Patty Hastings and Justin Runquist contributed to this report.