By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
A pair of Rochester teenagers were hospitalized after multiple collisions on southbound Interstate 5 near Centralia this afternoon that backed up traffic for at least five miles.
Troopers and aid were called just before 2 p.m. when possibly more than a dozen vehicles were involved in several separate wrecks, according to authorities.
Washington State Patrol spokesperson Ryan Tanner said nobody was seriously injured and preliminary information suggested five different collisions around the area just south of the Lewis-Thurston county line.
Riverside Fire Authority Mike Kytta said besides the two who were transported, a handful of motorists which were looked at by medics had very minor or no injuries and declined further assistance.
Kytta thought he counted 16 vehicles which had all pulled over to the inside shoulder along about a half mile stretch.
He called it a very fortunate and very surprising outcome with so many vehicles on a high speed road.
A memo from the state patrol described one portion of the incident as four vehicles that were damaged when a 1999 Chevrolet Prizm tried to go around others which were slowing for traffic. It was totaled.
It’s driver, Lacy M. Wood, 17, suffered an injury to her right knee, according to the state patrol. Her passenger, William Short, 19, hurt his left knee and right arm, the investigating trooper reported.
Both were taken to Providence Centralia Hospital.
The other three vehicles involved in that collision sustained damage varying from about $500 to $5,000 but were able to be driven from the scene.
The Washington state Department of Transportation indicated the roadway was all cleared by about 3:45 p.m.