Divided highways are designed in part to minimize head-on collisions. Highway 14 in Vancouver is such a roadway, but, on the morning of February 11, two separate head-on collisions on Highway 14 took the lives of three people and injured six others. Both accidents have been preliminarily blamed on drunk driving.
The first accident occurred at 1:16 a.m. just east of the Columbia House Boulevard Interchange. A vehicle heading west in the eastbound lane struck an eastbound vehicle. The driver of the eastbound car died at the scene, as did a woman who was a passenger in the wrong-way vehicle. The driver of the wrong-way vehicle and another passenger were transported to a nearby hospital, where the driver died from injuries. Washington State Police said that they believed the driver of the wrong-way vehicle was drunk at the time of the accident and that charges had been pending when the man died.
Less than an hour after this accident occurred, a second wrong-way collision occurred on Highway 14 just west of Columbia House Boulevard. As with the first accident, a vehicle was heading west in the eastbound lane when it struck an eastbound car. The wrong-way vehicle struck two cars heading east. Five people were injured in the collision. Both drivers were transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of their injuries. Three people who were passengers in the three cars were hospitalized for treatment of their injuries. Police blamed this accident on drugs or alcohol. The driver of the wrong-way vehicle was charged with wrong-way driving and DUI, and the driver of one of the eastbound vehicles was also charged with DUI.
The driver in the second case could be facing serious criminal charges that could entail imprisonment, loss of driving privileges and a heavy fine. Anyone facing similar charges may wish to confer with an experienced criminal defense attorney for an evaluation of the facts and law that may apply to the case and for assistance in formulating an effective defense strategy.
Source: The Columbian, "Three dead, six injured in two wrong-way DUI crashes in Vancouver," Mark Bowder, Feb. 11, 2018