Lewis County Commissioner, Sheriff Among Those Who Rescued Crash Victims Friday Along U.S. Highway 12


Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza and Commissioner Sean Swope were among those who helped lift two people out of a rolled over yellow Porsche Friday during a torrential downpour on U.S. Highway 12.

Swope told The Chronicle on Friday afternoon that he, Snaza and other deputies were coming back from the Packwood area after helping with the flood response when they observed a rollover collision at milepost 78 on U.S. Highway 12 at about 1:50 p.m.

The vehicle, a Porsche Boxster, had been traveling westbound at a high rate of speed when it hydroplaned and rolled into a ditch full of water.

“It had literally just happened. The guy that was behind them pulled over, we pulled over. They were in a ditch, water was coming through,” the commissioner recounted.

“It was pretty crazy because they were in the ditch and the water was rushing through into the car,” said Snaza.

Swope said he, Snaza and another deputy jumped out and tried their “hardest to get the car open.”

Shortly after, they realized that at least one person inside was still alive when they saw the wheels move and could hear someone “choke a little,” said Swope.

With the help of some bystanders, they were able to get a door open and EMS workers were able to get the two occupants out.

Both were transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

“I think Snaza just did an excellent job in telling us what to do to help, and to get the door open,” said Swope. “I’m just grateful for our sheriff's department for getting people out in such a dire situation. Their willingness and awareness to respond to calls is pretty awesome.”

The Washington State Department of Transportation is urging drivers during the unfavorable, wet weather to “use caution and expect delays in the area.”

“As always, please do not drive through standing water,” said Snaza. “Always be prepared to use alternate routes.”