An Oregon man was seriously injured after he was ejected in a crash that sent him down a steep embankment of Interstate 5 in Vancouver Thursday evening.
Robert Latscha, 27, of McMinnville, Ore., was driving a 1991 Honda Civic south on the highway at about 6:15 p.m. near Main Street when he attempted to merge to the right, Washington State Patrol reported.
When he merged, he struck a 1993 Subaru Legacy and then lost control of the vehicle, which went up and over the jersey barrier, according to the state patrol.
The vehicle took out 30 feet of fence and went down a steep embankment before hitting a tree, Clark County Fire District 6 spokesman David Schmitke said. The driver was ejected, Schmitke said.
Crews from District 6 and Vancouver Fire Department responded with heavy rescue equipment and worked for about a half an hour to reach the driver. Firefighters ended up using a 24-foot extension ladder to get to the patient, Schmitke said.
Latscha was injured and taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center where he remains in serious condition.
The driver and only occupant of the Subaru was not injured.
State patrol said Latscha will be cited on suspicion of making an improper lane change.