KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash. — Three people were killed in a crash on eastbound Interstate 90 early Thursday morning at milepost 74 near Easton. The Washington State Patrol (WSP) said two adults and a 10-year-old child were killed.
All eastbound lanes of I-90 were closed at Cabin Creek (milepost 63), which is about 10 miles east of the Snoqualmie Pass summit for several hours however they reopened around 1:45 p.m. Thursday.
WSP Trooper Collin Cumaravel said the crash involved a car and a semi-truck. According to Cumaravel, a semi-truck was traveling westbound and crossed over the median and struck a passenger car that was traveling east. WSP said three adults and two children were inside the car. Those killed were 40-year-old Justin Poole, 27-year-old Michaela Buckholt, and a 10-year-old all from Yakima. A 6-year-old and a 36-year-old woman were also in the car at the time. They were taken to Kittitas Valley Hospital.
The driver of the semi-truck, identified by WSP as 43-year-old Danny Ellingford of Pasco, was not injured. Ellingford was driving a truck with UPS logos. UPS released a statement writing, "We are deeply saddened to hear about this incident and extend our sympathies to those involved. We are cooperating with the responding authorities in their investigation. Because this is an active investigation, we will defer to authorities for any further comment."
The department tweeted just after 11:45 a.m. that the WSP OK’d tow trucks come to the scene to remove the “fully loaded” semi-truck and the passenger car involved in the crash.
The WSDOT said US 2 over Stevens Pass and US 12 over White Pass were open for drivers needing to get across the Cascades.
The crash, which was first reported around 1:45 a.m., initially closed both directions of I-90. The westbound lanes reopened before 2:30 a.m.
The east bound lanes had been closed for about 12 hours. WSP Trooper Ryan Senger said the reason for the extended closure was because they were working to look into this crash.
“Try and figure out what happened and why this tragedy occurred. That’s what the troopers are currently investigating right now. Part of the reason why the road’s been closed for so long (is) because they want to make sure they get it right,” Senger said.
At and near Snoqualmie Pass, we saw as hundreds of drivers waiting for the interstate to reopen on Thursday, truck driver Jaime Suarez told KOMO News about the road conditions where the crash happened. Juarez said he had also been through that stretch much earlier in the morning.
“It was nice and bare and dry this morning. It was cold, about 29, 28 degrees. Other than that, there was no moisture on the ground, nothing to talk about. No ice, or nothing,” truck driver Jaime Suarez added. “We always maintain a distance from the other trucks, especially here in the winter. You never know what’s going to happen.”
Other travelers waiting today in the backup, offered condolences to the victims of the crash, “my condolences to the family that had a loss,” a driver said.
Click here for the latest traffic conditions on the WSDOT website.