2 dead, 4 hurt when tree falls onto car at Stevens Pass

STEVENS PASS, Wash. - Two people were killed and four others in the same family were injured when their SUV was struck by a falling tree near Stevens Pass on Friday afternoon, the Washington State Patrol said.

Timothy Owen, 58, of Bothell was driving a 1999 Chevy Suburban in the eastbound lane when the large tree fell around 1:20 p.m., troopers said. Owen and his wife, Cheryl Reed Owen, 56, were killed.

Two women and two men in the car, all in their 20s, were hurt and taken to Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee.

The four were identified as Jeremy M. Owen, 22; Jamie Owen Mayer, 24; Steven T. Mayer, 24; and Jessica J. Owen. All were children of the couple who died, friends of the family said.

Two of them, Jamie and Steven, were later airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Jeremy was treated and released from Central Washington Hospital, and Jessica remains there in critical but stable condition.

The roadway was blocked for a time for the crash investigation but has since reopened.

About 53 inches of snow have fallen at the pass since Sunday. Further north, Mount Baker Highway just reopened Friday afternoon after being being closed for three days due to heavy snow and 175 trees that fell across the roadway.

The Washington State Department of Transportation says the heavy snow and strong winds snapped off tree trunks and branches and sometimes uprooted trees completely.