Five-vehicle crash on Interstate 5 stalls traffic north of Vancouver

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A five-vehicle pileup on southbound Interstate 5 near state Highway 500 was caused by a suspected intoxicated driver, resulted in two people being injured and caused an hourslong delay during the Friday morning commute.

The crash was reported at 6:55 a.m. at Milepost 2.3 of the freeway, according to a Washington State Patrol crash memo.

Responders first to arrive on scene told dispatchers that three cars were “entangled,” and the crash appeared to be fairly serious, according to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian.

A black 2000 Ford F-150 pickup was driving south in the left lane of the freeway when it failed to slow for traffic and struck a black 2007 Acura TSX. The impact caused a chain reaction: The Acura struck a red 2010 Toyota Corolla, which struck a white Subaru Forester, which struck a gray 2009 Hyundai Elantra, the crash memo states.

The driver of the pickup, identified as Maxwell F. Moreland, 20, of Clackamas, Ore., was uninjured. A passenger in his pickup, Nikkole S. Freeman, 20, of Corvallis, Ore., was injured and taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. She was not wearing a seat belt, according to the crash memo.

The driver of the Acura, 49-year-old Christina L. Steed of Vancouver, was also injured and transported to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, troopers said.

Both vehicles were totaled in the collision and impounded by WSP.

The driver of the Toyota, David W. Smith, 55, of Vancouver, was uninjured, but his vehicle was totaled and impounded by WSP, the crash memo states.

The drivers of the Subaru and Hyundai, identified as Lindsey A. Whetsell, 36, of Vancouver, and Abraham M. Madsen, 26, of Vancouver, respectively, were both uninjured. Their vehicles were damaged but driven from the scene, according to the crash memo.

Troopers say the cause of the crash was inattention, but they also believe drugs or alcohol were involved. Moreland is facing a charge of vehicular assault, the crash memo states.

Traffic maps showed vehicles backing up on the freeway starting around Highway 500. The line of cars stretched north to Hazel Dell.

It took more than two hours for the Washington State Department of Transportation to report the wreckage as cleared.



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