State trooper hit by wrong-way driver on I-5

by: Natasha Chen Updated:


TUKWILA, Wash. - A driver suspected of DUI is in police custody after hitting two cars, including a state patrol vehicle, while going the wrong way on Interstate 5 in Tukwila, according to police.

She only came to a stop around 4 a.m. Friday when a second patrol car rammed her suburban to make her stop. No one was seriously hurt.

The driver has been identified as 19-year-old Cameron Ann Krache of Tacoma. Another 19-year-old woman from Tacoma was in the passenger seat.

Shortly before the crash, a KIRO 7 staff member, Tod Thompson, was headed to work going northbound on I-5 when he saw the driver heading toward him in the wrong direction. He flashed his lights to warn the driver and then called 911.

“She was right in the middle of everybody, so it was shocking. So I’m thinking this person is going to either hit somebody or kill somebody, or who knows what’s going to happen. I just didn’t want to be the one that got hit,” Thompson said.

He said that many drivers were dispersing to the right and left of her to avoid being hit. He estimated she might have been going 60 mph.

“When I got to work, my heart was still pounding quite fast. I’m just like, this person could have killed me had I come a little earlier,” he said.

Thompson saw her pass him near the Corson Avenue exit, but the wrong-way driver continued to strike a black town car and a state patrol car.

Troopers said they may have traveled in the wrong direction from the downtown Seattle area for at least five or six miles.

“The suspect driver got out of the vehicle after being hit by the second patrol car,” said Trooper Chris Webb of the Washington State Patrol. “She was actually blaming that state trooper for hitting her. She seemed disoriented, didn’t know exactly where she was; it was obvious she was intoxicated.”

The first trooper whose cruiser was hit did not think he was seriously hurt in the crash, but he was treated as a precaution.

The second patrol car that finally stopped the driver was driven by Trooper Cadet Joseph DePalma, with field training officer, Trooper Richard Bjorkman, in the passenger seat.

Want to talk about the news of the day? Watch free streaming video on the KIRO 7 mobile app and iPad app, and join us here on Facebook.