Updated at 10:12 a.m.
By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
Two people were hospitalized after a car and big rig tangled on U.S. Highway 12 just east of Mayfield Lake yesterday afternoon leaving the roadway blocked for several hours.
Troopers called at 4 p.m. to the scene reported both vehicles were eastbound and when the car slowed for a left hand turn, a 2004 Peterbilt hauling two trailer tried to swerve around it.
The truck struck the right rear corner of the car, went into the ditch and rolled onto its side spilling the lumber it was hauling, according to the Washington State Patrol.
Both vehicles were totaled.
The driver of a 1996 Mercury Mystique, Kenneth Rittgarn, 69, of Randle, was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, as was one of his two passengers, Jessica M. Parker, 59, of Glenoma, according to the state patrol.
The truck driver, Johnny L. Persinger, 46, of Prosser, was reportedly uninjured.
The highway was closed with a detour in place until about 7 p.m., according to the state Department of Transportation.
A second passenger in the car declined treatment. The collision was blamed on the truck driver’s inattention.
CORRECTION: This news items has been updated to correctly reflect which man was driving which vehicle. The state patrol initially incorrectly identified Rittgarn as the the truck driver and reported Persinger was behind the wheel of the car.