• Deadly crash on I-90 backs up already heavy Labor Day traffic

    By: Deborah Horne

    Updated:

    An adult and child are dead in a crash on westbound I-90 near Ellensburg.  Another adult and two children were airlifted to Seattle.

    According to the Yakima Herald, a motorhome pulling a trailer fell off an overpass and into the river. Just one lane is getting by in both directions.

    Even before the terrible accident, drivers were saying just how bad the traffic was here on I-90.  It was especially tough for anyone trying to get here from Eastern Washington.

    "Traffic was backed up for no reason," said Paul Sharp, of Tumwater. "There wasn't a wreck. There wasn't anyone pulled over.  It was just people didn't merge. Like people don't merge together in this state."

    The frustration was obvious in Sharp's voice. He stopped at Travelers Rest at Snoqualmie Summit after he was caught in the slow-moving caravan of vehicles heading west across Snoqualmie Pass.

    And, he says, this wasn't the worst of it.

    "Right where it said 'right lane ends' and there's two other lanes," he said, "people are just cutting one another off, making people slam on brakes. That's unacceptable, for it adding an hour and a half onto our travel time."

    "It's terrible,” agreed Adam Welker, of Renton. "I mean it's stop and go from the other side of Cle Elum to Easton."

    Coreen McCreery, of Spanaway, said she was traveling "from Yakima and going home to [the] Tacoma area."

    Her journey, she said, was unusually long.

    "Took two and a half hours, just that far," McCreery said. "Normally I can get all the way home in like three and a half."

    The Washington State Department of Transportation warned drivers that early afternoon would be the heaviest time for westbound traffic across Snoqualmie Pass.  And some veterans of this Labor Day drive were taking it in stride.

    "It's about the same," said Mychelle Bowers, of Tacoma. "I just take my time. Stop when I need to, pick up some fruit on the way."

    "We still have another about hour and a half, two-hour drive ahead of us," lamented Sharp.

    That is why he says they had to stop at Travelers Rest.

    "Oh, yes, ma'am," he said, laughing. "No. I couldn't wait any longer."

    DOT predicted the traffic would remain heavy until 6 or 7 Monday night.  So if you can, you probably should delay your trip until a little later.

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