WSP says they suspect alcohol or drugs played a role in both crashes, which occurred within an hour of one another early Sunday
VANCOUVER (AP) — Two people were killed and seven others injured in two separate wrong-way DUI crashes on state Highway 14 in Vancouver early Sunday, according to the Washington State Patrol.
The first crash — a two-vehicle, double-fatal collision — occurred at 1:16 a.m. on eastbound Highway 14 just east of Columbia House Boulevard, when a wrong-way driver heading west in the eastbound lanes struck another vehicle head-on, according to a WSP bulletin.
The WSP said Aaron C. Dohman, 33, of Vancouver was driving a 2007 Nissan Altima west in the eastbound lanes when his car crashed head-on into a 2004 Buick Rendezvous driven by Edgar G. Acosta, 35, of Vancouver.
Acosta was pronounced dead at the scene, as was a passenger in Dohman’s car, Michelle M. Henriksbro, 47, of Vancouver, according to the WSP. Dohman was injured and transported to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, as was Christopher L. Koph, 33, of Vancouver, a passenger in Dohman’s car.
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The WSP said drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash and that charges are pending against Dohman.
Less than an hour after the first crash, at 2:12 a.m., there was a three-car, wrong-way crash on eastbound state Highway 14 just west of Columbia House Boulevard, according to the WSP.
The WSP said Matthew B. Slade, 42, of Mill Creek was driving a 2012 Mini Cooper west in the eastbound lanes when he struck two vehicles — a 2014 Kia Optima driven by Paulette I. Ramirez, 28, of Fairview, Ore., and a 2000 Honda Passport driven by Jerry Ybarra, 53, of Salem, Ore.
Five people were injured in the crash. The WSP said Slade and Ramirez were transported to Legacy Emmanuel Medical Center in Portland, as was Nyrie L. Taylor, 34, of Portland, a passenger in Ramirez’ vehicle, and Christabel Bello, 42, a passenger in Ybarra’s vehicle. Ybarra was transported to Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center.
The WSP said drugs or alcohol were involved in the crash. It said Slade would be charged with wrong-way driving and DUI, and Ybarra would be charged with DUI.
Eastbound Highway 14 from Interstate 5 was closed for several hours early Sunday as investigators gathered evidence from the two crash scenes. The Washington State Department of Transportation reported all lanes reopened at about 6:20 a.m.