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News / Clark County News

Washington State Patrol investigates fatal I-5 crash near Castle Rock

Family members of three victims seek community's support

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Local News Editor
Published: April 26, 2021, 5:51pm

The Washington State Patrol continues to investigate a fatal crash caused by an intoxicated driver Saturday morning along Interstate 5 near Castle Rock.

Meanwhile, family members of the three people killed — Richard H. Stoker, 55, and Karen C. Stoker, 54, of Battle Ground and Arthur E. Anderson, 63, of Longview — seek the community’s support.

The three were killed and the Stokers’ son, 25-year-old Travis H. Stoker, was injured when a car veered into the Stokers’ SUV parked on the shoulder of the freeway, shoving it into Anderson and his tow truck as he provided assistance.

On a GoFundMe page for the Stoker family, daughter Ashley Stoker said she learned that her brother’s car had broken down on the side of the freeway near Milepost 45. He called for a tow, and their parents came to pick him up.

Their parents parked behind the tow truck as Anderson loaded up Travis Stoker’s car. Her brother got into their parents’ SUV to wait when they were hit from behind, she said.

The impact pushed their vehicle forward, where Anderson was standing. Ashley Stoker said Anderson and her parents were killed instantly.

Travis Stoker was injured and taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver. He suffered internal injuries but is expected to survive, Ashley Stoker said on the fundraising page.

“He has some internal tears they fixed in surgery, a few fractured ribs, his right arm and left leg are in casts, and (he has) some bruises on his body,” she wrote.

He was listed in serious condition Monday, according to a hospital spokesman.

The driver accused of causing Saturday’s crash, identified as 43-year-old Anna-Christie Ireland of Longview, faces three counts of vehicular homicide, according to the State Patrol.

She was also injured in the crash and taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center for treatment. Her condition was unavailable Monday.

Efforts to reach a State Patrol spokesman for an update on the investigation were unsuccessful Monday.

Parents mourned

On a GoFundme page for Anderson’s family, his daughter, Sparkle Chisum, said he died “doing what he loved, serving the community with a tow.”

He owned Affordable Towing in Longview, according to The Daily News, and had been in the towing business for more than 35 years.

“My family and I need time to mourn our loss and reflect on how great of a man our dad truly was. I love and miss him so much, it hurts,” she wrote.

On the Stokers’ fundraising page, Ashley Stoker described her parents as “kind, selfless, loving, good-hearted people taken away way too soon.”

Ashley Stoker said her father “was dedicated to taking care of his family” and “loved anything with wheels and a motor.” He was dedicated to the Dick Hannah Collision Center, she said, and everyone who worked there.

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She and her mother “shared a passion for volunteering and giving back,” she said. Her mother volunteered at their schools and attended every field trip while they were growing up.

“She enjoyed taking photos and making scrapbooks, her morning coffee, and nature,” Ashley Stoker said.

The couple met in the sixth grade and were married in 1989, according to their daughter.

“They celebrated their 30th anniversary by taking a Mexican Riviera cruise and enjoyed every minute of it. They were in it for the long haul. Till death do us part,” Ashley Stoker wrote.

To donate to The Stoker Family, visit https://bit.ly/3vkYjAf, and to donate to Affordable Towing Family, visit https://bit.ly/3dTwx8j.