WSP: Driver Lost Control of Car, Causing Interstate 5 Crash Involving Multiple Semis


A California man was taken to a Longview hospital after a Tuesday crash on southbound Interstate 5, north of Woodland, sent two tractor-trailers into the Columbia River.

The Washington State Patrol responded to the crash at about 1:30 p.m. near Milepost 23.

Tamara A. Cole, 63, of Castle Rock, lost control of her Volkswagen Jetta and spun into the middle lane, according to a State Patrol crash memo.

Cole's Jetta crashed into a tractor-trailer driven by William A. Gordy, 51, of Mount Baldy, Calif., which then crashed into another tractor-trailer in the right lane. Gordy's truck and the other tractor-trailer, driven by Kevin P. Clark, 38, of Surrey, Canada, careened through a guardrail and down an embankment, into the Columbia River, the crash memo states.

Clark's truck came to rest on its passenger side in the river. Gordy's truck stopped partially in the river and the cab caught on fire, according to the State Patrol.

Becky L. Desmet, 65, of Salinas, Calif., slowed her car in the left lane for the crash and was rear-ended by Shawn E. Moore, 25, of Castle Rock, the crash memo states.

Gordy was taken to PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center in Longview, according to the State Patrol. Trooper Will Finn said on Twitter the driver suffered a broken finger. No one else was reportedly injured.

The State Patrol referred a charge of speeding against Cole. Her passenger, Larry E. Smith, 61, was also uninjured.

All lanes of southbound I-5 were blocked by the crash debris and for the investigation. Traffic was backed up to just south of Longview as the Tuesday afternoon commute began.

Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue, Cowlitz County Fire District 5, along with WSDOT and the State Patrol responded to the crash.