Thursday storm led to at least 65 vehicle accidents in the Wenatchee Valley


As the snow arrived Thursday afternoon so too did the reports of vehicle accidents.

Beginning about 1:30, the calls started coming in to RiverCom, and by late evening law enforcement in the area had responded to 65 wrecks.

Chelan County Sherif’s Office, Wenatchee Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and East Wenatchee Police Department responded to 35 of those accidents.

There were no reports of serious injuries in any of the accidents.

The wrecks were spread throughout the region, with East Wenatchee leading the way with 10. State highways also presented problems for drivers, with Highway 97 Blewett Pass between the summit and Big Y the biggest problem area.

Trooper John Bryant of the Washington State Patrol said though road conditions were icy on Highway 28 between East Wenatchee and Quincy, there actually few accidents. It was especially slippery in the Trinidad Hill area.

Overall, the State Patrol responded to 30 accidents in the Wenatchee Valley.

Problems with ice and snow continued into this morning, with the Quincy and Moses Lake school districts cancelling classes and the Wenatchee and Cashmere districts starting two hours late.

The biggest problems were in Kittitas County, Bryant said. There were about 65 accidents in that county, with Interstate 82 between Ellensburg especially troublesome.

In fact both I-82 and State Routs 821 were shut down for a short time because of multiple spinouts.

Bryan said most of the collisions or spinouts were avoidable.

“The causes were the usual ones: Speed too fast for conditions in number one,” Bryant said. “Next would be vehicles with poor traction due to tires. I would also add distraction, as drivers need to focus much more in these conditions and drive to their ability and the type of vehicle they are driving.”