Highway 203 wreck claims life

By KARL SCHWEIZER

Herald Writer

MONROE — A 22-year-old Sultan man died Friday when his small pickup collided head-on with a semi-truck loaded with construction equipment on Highway 203 about a mile south of Monroe.

A male passenger in the pickup was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, said Trooper Lance Ramsay of the Washington State Patrol. The semi-truck driver, Wayne D. Gilbert, 50, of Snohomish, was not injured.

The victim was identified as Obed T. Cushing, of Sultan. His passenger, Nathan J. Hess, 23, of Monroe, was in serious condition at Harborview.

The accident, which occurred about 12:30 p.m. at 17819 Highway 203, shut down a half-mile stretch of the highway between the Skykomish River and Tualco Road for three hours as investigators from the State Patrol and the state Department of Transportation analyzed the scene.

The southbound pickup collided with the northbound semi in the northbound lane, Ramsay said. It isn’t known why the pickup ended up in the other lane, Ramsay said.

The pickup rode up the side of the semi and broke apart when it struck the excavator being towed behind the truck, said Shawn Welcome, owner of the excavator.

Welcome, who hired the truck driver to move the equipment, estimated the combined weight of the truck and excavator at more than 50 tons.

The impact threw the pickup onto the shoulder.

It is the second fatal accident to occur on the highway in the past few weeks, Ramsay said.

Three people were killed Nov. 5 in a head-on collision on Highway 203 near Cherry Valley Road, north of Duvall.

In Friday’s crash, the trucks would have collided at a combined speed of 110 mph, if both were going the 55 mph speed limit, Ramsay said.

Kurt Biderbost said he was sitting in the office of nearby Kurt’s Produce when Friday’s accident occurred. Biderbost heard a bang and looked outside to see a wrecked yellow pickup on the shoulder of the highway. He called 911 before checking on the occupants.

The truck came to rest in front of John Sjostrom’s five-acre farm. Sjostrom, who got home after the accident, said the wreck, though serious, was merely the latest in a series of accidents along the highway near his house.

"We hear brakes a lot," Sjostrom said. "People don’t pay attention. They come out of Monroe heading like a bat out of hell down the road to Duvall."

Several near-accidents have occurred as drivers have tried to turn off into Kurt’s Produce across the street and have been nearly struck by other drivers who weren’t paying attention, Sjostrom said.

Biderbost complained of speeding and tailgating drivers.

"Can I vent about this stretch of road? There’s trucks that go through here at God-knows-what speed and tailgating. And it’s not just the truckers, it’s everybody. You wonder how they could ever stop in a million years," he said.

Drivers also honk and get angry when people try to turn left into his produce stand, he said.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Mel Jennings sits in his structure during a point-in-time count of people facing homelessness in Everett, Washington on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. Mel has had a brain and spinal surgery, and currently has been homeless for a year. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Annual homeless count aims to give snapshot of housing crisis

Volunteers set out into the rain Tuesday to count all the people facing homelessness in central Everett.

Catherine Berwicks loads ballots into a tray after scanning them at the Snohomish County Elections Ballot Processing Center on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020 in Everett, Wa.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Lawmakers push to boost voting in county jails across the state

A House bill envisions an approach similar to what’s been happening in the Snohomish County Jail for several years.

Vandalism at Seaview Park on Jan. 21, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Edmonds Police Department)
Police seek suspects in repeated vandalism at Edmonds parks

Vandals have done over $10,000 of damage to parks across the city, including suspected arson and graffiti with hate speech.

One worker looks up from the cargo area as another works in what will be the passenger compartment on one of the first Boeing 787 jets as it stands near completion at the front of the assembly line, Monday, May 19, 2008, in Everett, Wash. The plane, the first new Boeing jet in 14 years, is targeted for power on in June followed by an anticipated first flight sometime late in 2008.  (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Boeing workers long-exposed to carcinogen far above legal limits

The company confirmed in depositions that parts of its Everett plant still don’t meet 2010 standards.

CarlaRae Arneson, of Lynnwood, grabs a tea press full of fresh tea from Peanut the server robot while dining with her 12-year-old son Levi at Sushi Hana on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. CarlaRae said she and her son used to visit the previous restaurant at Sushi Hana’s location and were excited to try the new business’s food. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Peanut the robot waitress is on a roll at Lynnwood’s Sushi Hana

She’s less RoboCop and more Rosey as she patrols the restaurant, making sure everyone has a drink and good time.

A big head Buddha turns to the crowd during a celebration of the Lunar New Year on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in downtown Edmonds, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lunar New Year celebrates the Year of the Rabbit

A celebration in Edmonds ushered in the Lunar New Year.

Rep. Kim Schrier speaks with Regional Manager Susan Rushing about a room designated for serving homeless veterans during a visit to the new VA Puget Sound Health Care System Everett Clinic on Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New VA clinic in Everett already has 5,300 patients

U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier toured the new center Friday, where veterans can get primary care and a growing list of specialty services close to home.

A white lane line juts out of place along I-5 northbound through Everett on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Wonky I-5 lane striping in Everett to get temporary refresh

During weekend work, contractor crews are slated to try to repaint northbound temporary lane striping past 41st Street.

Senator Patty Murray listens to students share their experiences with financial aid during a roundtable meeting to discuss access to higher education and Pell Grant increases Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett college students press Murray to boost financial aid funding

In a sitdown with the senator, they shared how Pell grants and other aid made it possible for them to attend college.

Most Read