Today at approximately 2:45 there was a fatal car crash on I-5 in Kelso, Washington, near Longview, Washington, USA. Longview borders between Washington and Oregon along the Columbia River in the United States.
I personally was stuck in the traffic jam that followed. It took exactly 1 hour to drive from the I-5 southbound onramp near the Three Rivers Mall to the next I-5 exit at Highway 432. The drive was from 3pm – 4pm on March 29, 2008. Traffic was totally gridlocked and still for the first 20 minutes and people were standing along I-5 talking and standing on their vehicles in hope to get a view of the scene ahead.
The main accident, noted as a red circle on the map below, was I-5 southbound just before the the Longview junction 432 interchange. Weather has been bad- with a random assortment of sleet, snow and rain. The main accident involved 3 cars. The main impact was on the drivers side of a vehicle, which completely demolished the door- pressing it into the middle of the vehicle. Without knowledge of the condition of the people, I feel safe in saying it was fatal for at least one person, just looking at the severity of the T-bone impact to that driver’s side door.
Another accident was probably caused because of the first accident- note the yellow circle on the map. Accidents can breed more accidents, with the sudden starting and stopping. It looked like a bad rear end job. I believe it was a minivan that was hammered on the rear with a few feet of the rear compressed. This second accident appeared to involve 3 cars as well.
In total, it appeared at least six cars were damaged as a result of the accident, with at least one fatality.
I feel very sorry for the families involved.