Monroe man, Lynnwood woman killed in crash

Associated Press

SEATTLE – Three people, including a Monroe man and a Lynnwood woman, died when two pickup trucks collided head-on north of Duvall, the worst of five traffic accidents in which eight people died Sunday in the Puget Sound area.

Also under investigation by the Washington State Patrol were:

  • A head-on collision of two tractor-trailer rigs in which both caught fire and both drivers died on Washington 18 near Maple Valley, closing the heavily traveled road through rush hour this morning west of the interchange with Washington 169. Firefighters poured water on the flames for hours, and Washington 18 was closed through the morning rush hour.

  • A fiery smashup in which one driver died and the other was arrested for investigation of vehicular homicide on Interstate 5 in Seattle.

  • A crash in which the driver of a car died of a heart attack while swerving to avoid a semi on I-5 in Tacoma.

    Mount Rainier National Park officials were investigating an accident in which a car hit a tree on Washington 706 east of Ashford, leaving one person dead and one injured.

    The Duvall-area crash occurred in rainy weather Sunday afternoon when Brian S. Mutt, 19, of Monroe, tried to pass another vehicle while driving north on Washington 203 and collided head-on with a southbound pickup and small utility trailer driven by Larry J. Brown, 38, of Billings, Mont.

    Mutt and a 6-year-old child in Brown’s pickup died at the scene. An 18-year-old Lynnwood woman who was riding with Mutt died after being flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The names of the woman and child were being withheld early today.

    Brown was listed in critical condition and Peggy Brown, 38, of Billings, and Joseph R. Knuckey, 18, of Monroe, a passenger in Mutt’s pickup, were listed in serious condition late Sunday, all at Harborview.

    In Seattle, a 1998 Lexus described as going faster than 100 mph rear-ended a southbound 1981 Chevrolet Monte Carlo on I-5 near the Mercer Street exit shortly before 5:30 a.m., causing the older car to burst into flames as it bounced off a guardrail and back into the middle of the freeway.

    The driver of the Monte Carlo, believed to be a 23-year-old man from Vancouver, Wash., died at the scene, Trooper Monica Hunter said. His name was being withheld early today.

    The Lexus driver and both passengers tried to get into the car of a witness, then fled on foot toward Lake Union and were arrested by police, two in the water and one nearby, Hunter said.

    The passengers were released and the driver, Ruben Camacho Contreras, 28, of Seattle, was jailed for investigation of vehicular homicide after being treated for leg, arm and head injuries at Harborview.

    Investigators noted “some of the mannerisms” typical of drunkenness and were awaiting the results of hospital blood tests on Contreras, Hunter said.

    Shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday, two semis crashed head-on on Washington 18 beneath the Southeast 231st and 232nd street overpass. Names of the drivers, both of whom died in the crash, were not available early today.

    The highway was closed between 208th and 232nd and the overpass, which was being overhauled by state Transportation Department crews, also was closed.

    “They know that there’s structural damage” to the overpass, Hunter said. “They just don’t know how much.”

    In Tacoma, Sumner Merton Olsen, 82, of Steilacoom, swerved to avoid a tractor-trailer rig on I-5 southbound near the Tacoma Dome shortly after 11:30 a.m. and had a heart attack, troopers reported. Olsen died at Tacoma General Hospital after his 2000 Saturn hit a concrete barrier.

    Patrol investigators were helping Mount Rainier park officials investigate a crash in which a car hit a tree. Passenger Yuriy Glavan, 24, of Tacoma was killed, said spokesman Ed Duke with the Pierce County medical examiner’s office.

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