November 8, 2011
Traffic stopped on eastbound Interstate 90 late last month as emergency responders raced to a deadly accident — and a miracle.
Longtime Issaquah resident Lily Skelton, sister Priscilla Schenkel, a Renton resident, and friends Kate Cochran and Lisa Malmin, survived the fatal crash Oct. 17, as motorists in another mangled vehicle died at the scene.
“It was a miracle,” Skelton said days after escaping from a crumpled car lodged between tractor-trailers.
Cochran and Malmin traveled to Washington from Arizona for Schenkel’s birthday. Leavenworth made for a perfect trip to glimpse autumn foliage and mountain splendor after days spent sightseeing in Issaquah and Seattle.
In the backseat, Cochran and Malmin snapped photos as Skelton’s Buick LeSabre crossed Snoqualmie Pass. Near Hyak, Skelton deactivated the cruise control and slowed amid the construction zone.
“It was a beautiful day and everybody was driving calmly,” Skelton said.
Signs about the Snoqualmie Pass East construction project lined the roadside. Soon, traffic stopped and Skelton, a cautious driver, left about a car length between the Buick and a tractor-trailer up ahead. Behind the car, another tractor-trailer sat idle.
“We’re coming down Hyak and they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is so beautiful!’ — the lake, the mountains, the colors — and then, kaboom,” Skelton said.
Washington State Patrol investigators said a tractor-trailer and a Jeep Cherokee collided behind the Buick. The impact pushed the rig behind the Buick into the car. The sedan surged ahead into the other tractor-trailer.
October 29, 2011
NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 29, 2011
The approach of winter means motorists can again use studded tires.
In Washington, studded tires can be legally used between Nov. 1 and March 31. Violators face a $124 penalty.
The state Department of Transportation recommends for motorists headed into higher elevations should carry chains and use approved traction tires year-round. If the state requires chains on a roadway, studded tires alone cannot meet the chain requirement, unless the vehicle has four- or all-wheel drive.
The abrasion on pavement surfaces caused by studded tires wears down pavement at a much greater rate.
Moreover, rutting damage caused by studded tires is limited to state routes, primarily interstates, due to higher speeds and traffic volumes. Rutting leads to safety issues such as ponding and water on roadways, hydroplaning, excessive roads spray, and steering problems.
October 25, 2011
The state patrol is asking motorists for information about a deadly Oct. 17 accident on Interstate 90 near Snoqualmie pass.
The crash injured a 47-year-old Issaquah woman, Lilian H. Skelton. Idaho motorists Jess A. Bass, 68, and Jean E. Bass, 73, died in the accident.
Washington State Patrol troopers said the accident occurred just before 11 a.m. on the eastbound interstate just east of Snoqualmie Pass.
Investigators said a tractor-trailer collided with the Bass’ Jeep Cherokee, starting a chain-reaction crash. Troopers said another truck slammed into the rear of a Buick LeSabre.
The state patrol is seeking witnesses to the collision and the events preceding the incident. Call Sgt. Jerry Cooper at 360-805-1192 or Detective Curt Ladines at 360-805-1160.
Medics transported Skelton and other injured motorists to Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue.
October 19, 2011
NEW — 2 p.m. Oct. 19, 2011
The state troopers investigating a deadly accident on Interstate 90 near Snoqualmie Pass seek additional witnesses to the crash.
The crash injured a 47-year-old Issaquah woman and left two Idaho motorists dead.
The accident occurred just before 11 a.m. Monday on the eastbound interstate just east of Snoqualmie Pass. The collision involved three tractor-trailer rigs and two passenger vehicles.
Early reports to the Washington State Patrol’s Major Accident Investigation Team indicate four of the vehicles stopped in the lone eastbound lane.
Investigators said a truck combination had been the lead vehicle followed by a Buick LeSabre, another tractor trailer and, lastly, a Jeep Cherokee.
The state patrol said a third truck and the Jeep collided, sending the sport-utility vehicle ahead into the trailer of the middle truck. The middle truck then struck the rear of the Buick. Then, the Buick struck the rear of the trailer on the first truck. The occupants in the Jeep died at the scene.
The state patrol is seeking witnesses to the events before, leading up to or the collision itself. Call Detective Sgt. Jerry Cooper at 360-805-1192 or Detective Curt Ladines at 360-805-1160.
Medics transported the Issaquah woman, Lilian H. Skelton, to Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue.
August 30, 2011
Labor Day is the busiest travel weekend of the year over Snoqualmie Pass on Interstate 90.
The state Department of Transportation is offering numerous travel information tools for motorists headed through the pass and other high-traffic areas during the holiday weekend.
Travelers planning to hit state highways can find information on the DOT website about the times and places drivers can expect to experience Labor Day weekend delays, including U.S. 2, I-90 and Interstate 5 at the Canadian border, and between Olympia and Tacoma.
Motorists can expect significantly better travel times in most areas Sept. 1 and Sept. 6.
August 28, 2011
NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 28, 2011
Labor Day is the busiest travel weekend of the year over Snoqualmie Pass on Interstate 90.
The state Department of Transportation is offering numerous travel information tools for motorists headed through Snoqualmie Pass and other high-traffic areas during the holiday weekend.
Travelers planning to hit state highways can find information on the DOT website about the times and places drivers can expect to experience Labor Day weekend delays, including U.S. 2, I-90, and Interstate 5 at the Canadian border, and between Olympia and Tacoma.
AAA estimates a decline in overall travel, including aircraft, roadway, trains, watercraft and multimodal travel. The organization predicts for almost 27.3 million people to travel the nation’s roadways during the holiday weekend, a slight increase from last year.
August 9, 2011
Tyler and Angelina Edwins welcomed daughter Isabella Carmel to their Snoqualmie home June 22, 2011.
She was born at Overlake Hospital Medical Center, in Bellevue, weighing 9 pounds, 1 ounce and measuring 21 inches.
She joins brother Brody, 3.
Grandparents are Steve and Melinda Sanelli, of Issaquah; Debbie Edwins, of Sammamish; and Tom Edwins, of Redmond.
Great-grand parents are Floyd and Carmel Sanelli, of Bellevue; George Miller, of Kirkland; and Richard Smith, of Snoqualmie Pass.
Angelina is a 2000 graduate of Issaquah High school. She is a substitute teacher for the Issaquah School District.
Tyler is a 1999 graduate of Skyline High School. He is a drafter for Collons & Smith Structural Engineers, in Issaquah.
August 9, 2011
A total of 21 years have passed since the members of the Issaquah Alps Trails Club led the now well-known hike from Snoqualmie Pass to Seattle.
Since then, according to exhibition organizers, the landscape of Issaquah has been a key part of the Mountains to Sound Greenway.
With that in mind, Issaquah was picked to host the opening leg of the Mountains to Sound Greenway inaugural traveling photo exhibition.
The exhibition will feature 30 images of the greenway taken by people who live, work and play in the cities, towns, mountains and natural areas between Seattle and Eastern Washington.
The photos represent the work of amateur photographers of all ages and abilities.
July 26, 2011
Leaders nurture Interstate 90 greenbelt, acre by acre, year by year
Like the matter-of-fact name suggests, the Mountains to Sound Greenway starts amid the souvenir shops and seafood restaurants at the Seattle waterfront, unfurls along Interstate 90, encompassing cities and forests, and continues on, across the Cascades.
Issaquah, situated on the route, is not quite at the center, but the city is central in the long effort to create a greenbelt along the major roadway.
The idea for a conservation corridor along the interstate germinated in Issaquah more than 20 years ago. Issaquah Alps Trails Club members spearheaded a 1990 march from Snoqualmie Pass to Puget Sound to attract attention to the proposed greenbelt — a sort of Central Park for Western Washington.
The disparate citizen, conservation, corporate and government interests behind the proposal coalesced to form the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust in 1991. Supporters marched from Ellensburg to Seattle in early July to celebrate the 20-year milestone.
“The original vision was, what can we agree on to preserve what’s important to everyone along this corridor?” retired Issaquah City Administrator Leon Kos said.
The corridor stretches for 100 miles, connects 1.4 million acres — or a landmass about 15 times larger than Seattle — and includes more than 800,000 acres in public ownership.
The conservation is enmeshed in cooperation.
The organization is built to foster dialogue among divergent groups. Seattle civic leader Jim Ellis, founding president of the greenway trust, called on rivals to sit down at the same table to create the conservation corridor. So, representatives on the 58-member board include the Sierra Club and Weyerhaeuser Co.
Kos, a longtime greenway supporter and board member, said the Issaquah Alps Trail Club assumed a fundamental role early on.
“The community group that was really very instrumental was the Issaquah Alps Trails Club,” he said.
July 19, 2011
Months before the Joshua P. Williams Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament each year, a posse of his old buddies from Skyline High School scheme about what to wear on tournament day.
This year, four of the guys each played while decked out from head to toe in one color. They found the vibrant attire at a thrift store, intent on standing out everywhere they went at The Plateau Club.
“They look like popsicles out there,” said Debra Williams, Josh’s mother and event organizer. “They make it fun.”
More than 200 people participated in the 2011 celebrity golf tournament in Sammamish July 12. Centered around the casual golf tournament, the charity event raised money for the Williams family’s foundation at the dinner-auction that evening.
A total wasn’t immediately available.
“It’s a fun way for everybody to come out and celebrate Josh’s life,” said Mark Hanan, one of Josh’s high school friends, who wore a baby blue polo shirt and pants. “It’s the best day of the year. It’s a good way to give back to the community.”
This year’s tournament brought 36 local celebrities, including Chance Fry (Seattle Sounders), Tracie Ruiz-Conforto (Olympic gold medalist), Tyler Malsam (auto racer from Sammamish), Alonzo Mitz (retired NFL player), Golden Tate (Seattle Seahawks), Dave Valle (former Seattle Mariners catcher) and Gino Torretta (NFL retired player, NCAA Hall of Fame).