6 injured, hundreds delayed after 4-car collision

A four-vehicle collision resulted in six injured individuals and hundreds of motorists waiting in the rain to get through a temporarily closed U.S. Highway 101 on Aug. 24.

At about 11 a.m., a Mountlake Terrace driver traveling west stopped her Ford Escort on the highway in order to turn south onto Louella Road. While the driver was waiting for a break in oncoming traffic, a Nordland man driving a van collided with her vehicle, sending it into the eastbound lane.

An eastbound Sequim driver in a pickup truck was unable to stop before also colliding with the Escort, which sent the smaller passenger car back into westbound traffic and into a guardrail on the north side of the highway.

As a result of the collision with the Escort, the pickup truck careened onto Louella Road, where it hit a Chevrolet Cavalier driven by a man from Olympia who was waiting to turn from Louella onto the highway.

There were no fatalities and only one injury serious enough to warrant a helicopter flight to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center. Four of the other five injured were treated and released that day.

The passenger in the Escort, Traihana L. Bush, 18, from Shoreline, was flown to Harborview after Clallam County Fire District 3 responders removed her and the vehicle's driver, Lillian Campbell-Bush, from the car using hydraulic cutters, also known as the "jaws of life."

Bush was listed in satisfactory condition on Aug. 25.

Paramedics took Campbell-Bush, 37, to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles, where she was treated and released that day.

The driver of the van, George Fiedler, 83, was uninjured as a result of the collision, however he did receive a citation from Washington State Patrol troopers for his speed in relation to road conditions.

Fiedler's passenger Patricia Fiedler, 80, also from Nordland, was taken to Olympic Medical Center and released later that day.

The Sequim man driving the pickup, Arthur Abrams, 59, was uninjured. His passenger Paulette Pitcher, 54, also from Sequim, was injured in the incident and taken to Olympic Medical Center. She was listed as being in satisfactory condition by the hospital on Aug. 25.

The driver of the vehicle waiting to turn off Louella Road was John Chitwood, 38, of Olympia. He suffered minor injuries that paramedics treated at the scene. His passenger Christina Johnson, 31, also from Olympia, was transported to Olympic Medical Center and released later that day.

All people involved were wearing seat belts and neither alcohol nor drugs were cited as being an influence. All four vehicles were deemed totaled by the Washington State Patrol.

The collision blocked both lanes of the highway at a point where it has no detours available for motorists to circumvent the crash scene. Officials were able to open the highway at about 12:16 p.m. By that time, traffic had backed up as far as Agnew to the west and as far east as the Clallam County line.

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