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Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Feb. 21, 2024

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Driver ejected in fatal Highway 14 crash

By , Columbian staff reporter

A Vancouver man was killed Monday morning after hitting a median and being ejected from his SUV on westbound state Highway 14 near the Interstate 5 south exit.

The Washington State Patrol responded at 6:33 a.m. to the highway junction.

Royce A. Kite, 63, attempted to pass another vehicle in his Kia Sorento when he struck the barrier on the right side. Kite’s SUV was launched to the left and rotated onto the driver’s side, according to a State Patrol crash memo.

The roof of the Kia struck the barrier, and Kite was ejected onto the westbound lanes. The Kia then flipped over the barrier and came to rest in the eastbound lane, the crash memo states.

Kite was pronounced dead at the scene, the State Patrol said.

Investigators attributed the cause of the crash to speed. The State Patrol said it is unknown if alcohol or drugs were a factor and that Kite was not wearing a seat belt.

The crash, which caused traffic delays around downtown Vancouver, was cleared around 9:40 a.m., according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.