This morning between 5 AM and 10:30 AM, North Central Washington State Patrol Troopers responded to 35 vehicle collisions, most of these occurring on Snoqualmie Pass. Snoqualmie pass was closed for over an hour during that time due to several vehicles and semis that failed to put chains on despite traffic signs that required drivers to do so.
One of these 35 accidents did however result in tragedy…
At 10:25AM Washington state patrol responded to a what became a fatality collision on State Route 17 about 12 miles north of Soap Lake, the collision sent one of the vehicles off the highway and plunged into Alkali Lake.
The accident blocked the highway for passing traffic, emergency personnel attempted recovery for the passengers of the vehicle in the lake. Half an hour later, State patrol Brian Moore confirmed that the accident was fatal.
The victim has been identified as 78-year old Harold Chadwick of Coulee City. His 74-year old wife Connie was a passenger in the car and remains in Samaritan Hospital in Moses Lake.
Chadwick lost control of his car on Highway 17, eleven miles North of Soap Lake, spun completely around, went off an embankment and rolled into Alkali Lake resting on its top. The cause of that accident was driving too fast on yesterday’s snow-covered, slushy roads.
Washington State patrol is encouraging everyone to drive safe and be prepared for conditions. Troopers remind drivers that even if you have four wheel drive, it is still required to have chains available in your car when traffic signs say “chains required,” studded tires are not an exception.
Stay tuned for more information on the fatality collision as more details are released.