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Two killed in I-90 crashes

4-5 inches of snow blankets Ellensburg

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Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012 10:00 am

A 46-year-old North Bend man and an 18-year-old Lake Forest Park man were killed and four others were injured in two of five wrecks in Kittitas County over the weekend, according to Washington State Patrol.

The crashes occurred as a winter storm hit the region. The National Weather Service reported that 4 to 5 inches of snow fell Saturday and Sunday in Ellensburg. Thorp and Cle Elum-Roslyn schools delayed the start of school two hours this morning.

The North Bend man, a tow truck driver named Jason J. Halstead, was assisting a vehicle stuck in the snow on Interstate 90 near Exit 54 at Snoqualmie Summit Sunday afternoon.

A vehicle driven by Kamila J. Thomas, 50, of Newcastle, lost control and slid into the stuck vehicle, which then hit and killed Halstead.

WSP said the cause is still under investigation.

The Lake Forest Park man, Scott M. Austin, was killed when the vehicle he was riding in lost control on an icy Interstate 90 and rolled over 17 miles east of Ellensburg at about 11 a.m. Saturday.

WSP cited the driver, Leah E. Baird, 19, of Kent, for going too fast for conditions.

The driver and the four occupants were injured and taken to Kittitas Valley Community Hospital for their injuries. One was later transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle

About an hour earlier on Interstate 90, eight miles east of Ellensburg, an Oak Harbor woman lost control on the ice then went off the road. 

WSP said Laura J. Krueger, 35, was cited for driving too fast for conditions.

A Wilsonville, Ore., woman was injured after being ejected from her vehicle in a rollover on Interstate 82 at around noon the same day.

Natalie R. Wheeler, 22, was taken to Yakima Memorial Hospital for her injuries. WSP said the wreck’s cause is still under investigation, and charges may be pending.

Nicole M. Hyche, 29, and a 6-year-old girl were hurt when the vehicle they were riding in went off the roadway and came to rest on its side on U.S. Highway 97, 11 miles north of Ellensburg on Saturday afternoon.

They were transported to Kittitas Valley Community Hospital for their injuries. The driver and the two others in the vehicle were unharmed.

WSP said the cause is still under investigation, and charges may be pending.

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