A tree fell on a car and its driver on Friday night after a two-vehicle rollover accident on Interstate 205. The driver was taken to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries; the cause of the crash is still being investigated.
The Vancouver Fire Department was dispatched to a rollover accident on I-205 heading north south of the Padden Parkway exit at 9:46 p.m.
Two vehicles had left the lane and, according to VFD, came to a stop on the east side of I-205. A vehicle was found on the side about 50 meters from the lane. The driver escaped from the vehicle and was being looked after by good Samaritans who had stopped to help when VFD staff arrived. She was cared for by paramedics on site and then taken to a local hospital in an ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.
The second vehicle came off the lane, overturned and hit a tree, which collapsed the roof of the SUV. The vehicle came to a stop on its tires, but the trunk of the tree broke off 8 to 3 meters above the ground and fell onto the vehicle, trapping the driver in it. The driver was conscious. First crews worked to stabilize the fallen tree in order to safely free the driver.
More help came and set about removing damaged vehicle parts with cutting and spreading tools. The driver was evacuated and taken to a local hospital by American Medical Response with life-threatening injuries.
A tow truck from TLC Towing was called in to lift the tree with a crane boom so that the fire department could safely ensure that there were no other occupants in the second vehicle. None were found.
A total of seven VFD devices with 18 firefighters and management staff were on site. On Saturday morning, the cause of the accident was investigated by the Washington State Patrol.
Late on Saturday afternoon, fire department spokesman Joe Hudson of the Vancouver Fire Department said his agency had not responded to major heat-related mishaps or fires.
“We have additional staff today. Additional oil rigs, including our fireboat on the river to monitor activity, and some oil rigs to take care of bark dust and outdoor fires, ”he said. “We have extra crews ready to go, and we have our rehab bus – it’s an air-conditioned vehicle that can move around and provide a cool environment for those involved in any incident.
“We’re prepared, but we’re not overwhelmed,” said Hudson. “It was busy, but that’s normal. Vancouver is naturally busy. ”