Very lucky driver after car leaves I-90, crashes down embankment into tree near SR 18 off-ramp

Snoqualmie Fire Department Lt. Jake Fouts said a male driver is lucky to be alive after a serious one-car accident sent his car careening off of I-90 early Saturday morning, September 22, 2018.

Lt. Fouts said SFD received a call at 1:08AM from an occupant of the vehicle – that there were no witnesses to the accident – so it took crews approximately 20 minutes to locate the car in the woods.

According to information provided to emergency responders, the sedan was traveling westbound on I-90, approaching SR 18 when it may have swerved to avoid a deer and went across three lanes of traffic and across the WB 90 off-ramp lanes. The vehicle eventually went into the woods, about 25 feet down an embankment where it landed with the driver’s side pinned against a tree.

The female passenger was able to get free and climb up the embankment to help alert crews to the vehicle’s exact location. Lt. Fouts said crews did two passes along I-90 between North Bend and Preston looking for the accident, eventually having to use GPS to pinpoint the car’s spot.

Fouts said although a lot of this wooded area between the off-ramp and Snoqualmie Parkway has an uphill slope, the area where the car left the roadway was small downhill area and ravine, which made vehicle more difficult to find.

Crews were on scene around 1:30AM, with extrication of the driver taking approximately 20 minutes. He sustained a non-life threatening head injury was taken to a hospital trauma center. The passenger suffered minor injuries.

Lt. Fouts said with the amount of significant damage done to the vehicle, the driver was extremely lucky. He added, “It would’ve been a fatality if there had been no airbags.”

Washington State Patrol investigated the scene and according to Fouts, initial accounts were that drugs and alcohol were not involved.

Accident scene near the westbound I-90 offramp to SR 18. Photo: SFD


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