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Speed, weather triggers dozens of crashes in North Central Washington

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SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. — Travel in the mountain passes was treacherous on Tuesday. Washington State Troopers closed sections on I-90 and U.S. 97 due to bad weather and several crashes.

Troopers said they responded to 61 collisions in North Central Washington since midnight Monday, all of which were caused by drivers going too fast for weather conditions.

Since holiday travelers will soon be filling highways across the state, troopers said now is the time to prepare.

“We just want people to be prepared, we don’t want to see any tragedies this holiday weekend,” said Sgt. Tina Martin.

Multiple vehicles spun out on I-90 and a crashed tractor-trailer forced the closure of the interstate near Easton. WSDOT snowplows were busy along the freeway clearing snow and ice.

“It doesn’t take much, especially if you don’t have good tires on, to lose control,” said Martin.

Near Blewett Pass, speed and winter weather is to blame for a crash involving a box truck that crossed the center line striking a Jeep. The crash injured the Jeep’s driver and closed U.S. 97 for the second time Tuesday, according to troopers.

Earlier in the day, a quarter-inch of ice spun out tractor-trailers and forced the closure of the highway.

Troopers said the string of crashes are a reminder for drivers to pack an emergency kit, a set of chains and check the tires to make sure they are ready for nasty driving conditions.