By KARL SCHWEIZER
GOLD BAR — A head-on collision on a snow-slickened road killed a man and shut down U.S. 2 for more than three hours Thursday.
The accident occurred at about 2:45 p.m. when a westbound 1991 Nissan Pathfinder and an eastbound 1993 Jeep Wrangler collided at milepost 32 of the highway, about three miles east of Gold Bar near Zeke’s Drive In.
A passenger in the Nissan, Erik J. Robertson, 19, of Stanwood, died en route to the hospital.
The driver, Andrew M. O’Conner, 19, of Stanwood, was taken to Valley General Hospital in Monroe with an eye injury.
The driver of the Jeep, Andrew D. Minor, 19, of Snohomish was also taken to Valley General with head and knee injuries.
Zeke’s Drive In owner Dawnell Cashman, who watched police turn motorists around on U.S. 2., said drivers were contending with the first heavy snowfall of the season.
"It’s white here," Cashman said. "Those roads are pretty slick."
Sultan firefighter Ron Bertholf, who joined Gold Bar firefighters at the accident scene, said the rain abruptly switched to snow as he headed toward the wreck.
"It was pretty extreme weather east of Startup. The snow was coming down sideways. Visibility dropped off to nothing," Bertholf said.
Bertholf estimated a couple of inches of snow was on the ground at the time of the accident.
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