Authorities believe alcohol was factor in I-90 crash
December 16, 2009
By Warren Kagarise
UPDATED — 12:30 p.m. Dec. 16, 2009
A crash near Preston caused by a suspected drunk driver sent two people to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries Tuesday afternoon.
Authorities said the driver, a Newcastle woman, was traveling eastbound in a silver Acura when the vehicle crossed the center median that separates eastbound and westbound Interstate 90. The accident occurred just west of the Preston exit.
A Washington State Patrol trooper witnessed the Acura cross the median, then drive down the hill and continue in the middle westbound lane — traveling in the opposite direction. The driver swerved right to avoid a collision with a tractor-trailer and instead collided with a Honda Civic. The accident occurred at about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The driver of the Acura, Janet Bumgardner, 53, and the driver of the Civic — Rachel McNaul, a 29-year-old North Bend resident — were rushed to Harborview in critical condition.
Authorities said alcohol could be a factor in the collision. Bumgardner has a prior DUI conviction. She will face charges as a result of the collision.
The state patrol closed two westbound lanes for about two-and-a-half hours during the investigation.