UPDATE | JUNE 4TH
Snoqualmie Police Chief Perry Phipps said the driver who fled from police and later caused a head-on, wrong-way collision on eastbound I-90 near the SR 18 interchange on Memorial Day will face a kidnapping charge – in addition to other charges.
The police pursuit stemmed from a 911 call from the North Bend Outlet Mall reporting a woman was being kidnapped. Chief Phipps said although this was not a stranger kidnapping case, it met the criteria to charge the man with kidnapping. He added the woman made it very clear she did not want to get into the van with the man, whom according to Phipps also had felony warrants out for his arrest.
The woman suffered serious injuries in the collision and was one of four transported to Harborview Medical Center. According to the Snoqualmie Fire Department, two of the injured had to be extricated from the severely damaged vehicles. Phipps said all those injured did survive and when the driver is released from the hospital he would be booked into jail.
SPD Captain Nick Almquist said officers pursuing that van had lost it before it entered eastbound I-90 at the SR 18 interchange going the wrong direction. Witnesses said the driver used the I-90 off-ramp shoulder to avoid cars and after close calls with multiple vehicles, collided with a blue sedan a short time later on the freeway.
Eastbound I-90 was closed for approximately 2.5 hours while the Washington State Patrol investigated the accident.
On Monday, May 27, 2019, a reported severe collision had eastbound I-90 closed near the Preston/Fall City exit at milepost 22 as emergency crews responded the scene of a possible head on accident near Snoqualmie.
According to WSDOT, the accident was blocking all lanes of eastbound I-90 just west of the SR 18 interchange.
On social media, drivers described witnessing a police pursuit of a white van on Snoqualmie Parkway heading toward I-90. The driver went under I-90 and got onto eastbound I-90 heading the wrong direction. The driver used the shoulder to narrowly miss vehicles on the off ramp, got onto eastbound 90 going westbound and collided head-on with a blue sedan.
Some witnesses reported seeing the driver who caused the accident fleeing on foot after the collision.
Around 7PM WSDOT said the current backup was four miles. Medical Aid, Fire Assistance, the Incident Response Team, State Patrol, and Local Police were on the scene.
Cars were being turned around at exit 22. Traffic was already bad in the 90/18 interchange area due to the Memorial Day holiday.
According to the City of Snoqualmie, four people injured in the accident were transported to Harborview Medical Center and the suspect was in custody. The city said three of those injuries were critical.
Washington State Patrol Trooper Rick Johnson said the white van was fleeing from Snoqualmie PD and was reportedly involved in “an assault in progress and potential kidnapping report.” Johnson said there were multiple injuries in both vehicles.
Johnson explained the incident started around 6:15PM at the North Bend Outlet Mall when someone reported the possible assault/kidnapping via 911 to the Snoqualmie Police Department. A wildlife officer first attempted to stop the van on east of Snoqualmie due to erratic driving. When SPD caught up them, a chase ensued through the Snoqualmie Valley before the van entered I-90 in the wrong direction at the SR 18 interchange.
At 8PM, WSDOT said they had reopened the right lane to try and clear traffic stuck behind the accident, but warned that the other three lanes could remain closed until approximately 11PM for the accident/pursuit investigation. All lanes, though, reopened earlier than expected – at 9:15PM.