Safety of SR 522 questioned after deadly head-on crash
The Washington State Patrol is still investigating, but the accident is raising questions about the safety of that highly congested roadway.
Jeffrey Crettol came up on the head-on collision on SR 522 just a few minutes after it happened.
“Seeing something like this is horrible,” he said. “A fatality or even just critical, you just don’t want to see it.”
State Patrol troopers are trying to figure out exactly what caused the accident.
“From what we learned from witnesses, the Mitsubishi was heading eastbound,” said trooper Keith Leary. “It drifted to the shoulder, and struck one of the large construction barrels.”
It appears the driver then tried to over-correct and crossed the center line, hitting an oncoming car, a Ford Fusion. Both people in that car died.
The driver of the Mitsubishi and a young child were taken to the hospital in critical condition.
“We’re going to look at was the driver distracted? Was he looking at the child? Was he looking at something on the road?” Leary said.
The road itself could be a factor. In 2000, Reader’s Digest named the 10-mile stretch of 522 between Woodinville and Monroe one of America’s most dangerous highways.
The Washington Department of Transportation came up with plans to widen and divide the road. But part of the project is now on hold because of a lack of funding.
Crettol said it would be safer if there was something more than rumble strips in the center of the highway.
“I always like a bigger road, I don’t like this one way going each way,” he said. “So in my opinion, I’d like to see it stretched out to at least two lanes each way.”
But troopers said SR 522 is no more dangerous than any other highway in the state.
“Every road has the potential to be dangerous,” Leary said. “It depends on the driver. It’s the human factor and driver that determines whether a collision is going to happen or not.”