Driver dies in I-5 wrong-way wreck

ARLINGTON — A Shelton man died Tuesday after driving the wrong-way on I-5 and colliding head-on with another car.

Two women were seriously injured in the early morning crash.

The women, both of Sedro-Woolley, were northbound near Island Crossing about 2 a.m. The Shelton man, driving a Suzuki Esteem, was southbound on the freeway and smashed into the Jetta, Washington State Patrol trooper Kirk Rudeen said.

From witness reports it appears that the man entered the freeway at 236th Street NE and drove south about a mile before colliding with the northbound car, Rudeen said.

Both drivers were likely traveling about 70 mph.

“It was a horrific collision,” Rudeen said. “Both cars were destroyed.”

The Suzuki driver, 33, died at the scene. Two women in the Jetta were taken to Providence Everett Medical Center.

The Jetta driver, 40, was stabilized and moved to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where she was in satisfactory condition. The passenger, 34, also was in satisfactory condition in Everett.

Traffic was light at that time of the morning and no one else was injured, Rudeen said.

Investigators continued Tuesday to try to determine what caused the man to enter the freeway going the wrong direction. They’ll attempt to retrace his steps and learn where he had been before the crash, Rudeen said.

“We don’t know if alcohol was a factor or if he got confused. We have to wait for the medical examiner,” he said.

Two lanes of the freeway were closed for about three hours.

Reporter Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463 or

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