Late-night crash kills two near Interstate 90 interchange

July 7, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 8 a.m. July 7, 2011

State troopers said two people died late Wednesday night after a truck rammed into their vehicle on state Route 18 near Preston.

The crash occurred at about 11:45 p.m. after the driver of a car, a 65-year-old man, stopped to help the driver of a disabled pickup along the road. The driver of the disabled vehicle, a 47-year-old Enumclaw woman, then got into the car with the man. As they attempted to make a U-turn on westbound state Route 18 just south of the Interstate 90 interchange, a tractor-trailer slammed into the vehicle.

“Making that kind of maneuver would be very high-risk in that area. It’s already very clear by the no-passing zone and all of that,” Trooper Julie Startup said Thursday morning. “Obviously, not a great spot, and this morning, that did not go well.”

Startup said troopers had no indication of alcohol or drugs as a factor in the crash. The tractor-trailer driver was not injured in the accident.

The interstate interchange at state Route 18, about nine miles from downtown Issaquah and about five miles from rural Preston. State Route 18 in the area is a narrow road.

“I’m assuming that probably had something to do with it. How big of a factor? Probably not huge. We don’t get a ton of collisions in that area that are based on a visibility issue,” Startup said.

Troopers closed state Route 18 not long after the accident. The closure and investigation lasted for several hours, and the road did not reopen until about 4 a.m. Thursday.

The names of the deceased motorists have not been released by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

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