Seattle Times and The Spokesman-Review
SPOKANE — Travelers near Spokane faced long backups Tuesday afternoon after more than 100 vehicles crashed along a 4-mile span of I-90, according to Washington State Patrol.
The crashes started around 2:30 p.m. after a storm brought snow to the area and continued into the evening. A total of 127 vehicles were involved in 47 crashes, the largest of which involved 38 vehicles, according to Trooper Jeff Sevigney.
All lanes of traffic in both directions were initially shut down near Spokane International Airport, said state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Beth Bousley. Traffic slowed to a crawl for hours as damaged cars were towed away.
All westbound lanes were open as of 5:30 p.m., with one eastbound lane still closed, Sevigney said.
A temporary warming shelter was set up nearby for stranded motorists, Sevigney said.
The squall’s impact was isolated. Other parts of the area, including downtown Spokane, saw little or no snow.
Six people were taken to hospitals, but no serious injuries were reported, Sevigney said.
Officials are warning drivers to check conditions and traffic before beginning their holiday travels and to be prepared for changing conditions.
Drivers going through the Spokane area should exercise caution, as conditions are expected to worsen as the temperatures drop Tuesday night, Bousley said.
“We’re asking people to be really diligent and drive safely,” Bousley said.