DUI crash snarls traffic, injures commuters

September 28, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

State troopers said a suspected drunken driver caused a crash — and a mileslong traffic backup during the Sept. 24 morning commute — on Interstate 90 near Issaquah.

The crash injured the seven occupants of a King County Metro Transit Rideshare van traveling from Redmond to Snoqualmie.

Washington State Patrol investigators said the suspect, 26-year-old Issaquah resident Douglas Henderson, rear-ended the van, a Chevrolet Uplander, in the high-occupancy vehicle lane at 5:35 a.m.

The impact pushed the Uplander from the right side of the interstate near West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast. The vehicle then rolled into a ditch.

Police said a passenger was ejected, and four others were pinned inside the mangled wreckage of the van.

The other vehicle, a Ford pickup, came to a rest in a wooded section near the road.

Bellevue firefighters worked for almost an hour to free the passengers trapped inside the wrecked Uplander.

Bellevue Fire Department medics transported the suspected DUI driver and the van occupants to Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue and Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Troopers said the passengers suffered from mild to moderate injuries, but the men should recover.

Troopers identified the driver as a 58-year-old Redmond man. The passengers included a 40-year-old Redmond man, a 63-year-old Redmond man, a 29-year-old Bellevue man, a 50-year-old Bellevue man, a 58-year-old Bellevue man and a 60-year-old Bellevue man.

Medics transported Henderson to Overlake Hospital for precautionary medical evaluations. Police booked him into the King County Jail on charges of vehicular assault and driving under the influence, after he was released from the hospital.

The crash caused a milelong backup on the eastbound section and a three-mile backup in the westbound lanes.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com.

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