Drivers who collided on Hwy. 97 both under investigation for DUI

Oroville firefighters cut the roof off the Chevrolet Tahoe involved in a two-vehicle collision on Highway 97 south of Oroville. The collision, being investigated as a double DUI, sent six people, including a pedestrian, to the hospital. Gary DeVon/staff photos

Oroville firefighters cut the roof off the Chevrolet Tahoe involved in a two-vehicle collision on Highway 97 south of Oroville. The collision, being investigated as a double DUI, sent six people, including a pedestrian, to the hospital. Gary DeVon/staff photos

Six sent to hospital, including pedestrian on Ward’s Road

OROVILLE – A two-vehicle collision five miles south of Oroville on SR97 Friday afternoon sent six people, including a pedestrian, to the hospital and led to both drivers being investigated for Driving Under the Influence.

Mary E. Capote-Smith, 44, Oroville was heading southbound in a 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe when she attempted a left turn onto Ward’s Road in front of a northbound vehicle driven by Brian I. Mathis, 27, Oroville. Mathis’ 1992 Chevrolet pickup was struck nearly head-on. Smith-Capote was transported to North Valley Hospital by the Oroville Ambulance and Mathis was taken to Mid Valley Hospital by a Washington State Patrol Trooper, according to WSP Trooper B. Lovell, who filed the incident report. Mathis’ passengers Bianca V. Carrera, 19 and and an eight-year-old and four-year-old girl, were all transported to North Valley Hospital by ambulance, the four-year-old was later airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane.

The other vehicle in the collision on SR97 was this 1992 Chevrolet pickup that had four people, including two children, in it. All went to North Valley Hospital in Tonasket, but the four-year-old was later airlifted to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.

The other vehicle in the collision on SR97 was this 1992 Chevrolet pickup that had four people, including two children, in it. All went to North Valley Hospital in Tonasket, but the four-year-old was later airlifted to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.

Mathis and his passengers were wearing their seatbelts/restraints, but Capote-Smith was not, according to Trooper Lovell.

Two pedestrians were standing near the stop sign on Ward’s Road when the accident occurred, Colten J. Naclerio, 21, pushed his fellow pedestrian out of the way and was struck by Capote-Smith’s Tahoe. Naclerio also went to North Valley via ambulance.

The collision occurred shortly after 3 p.m. last Friday, Nov. 8, near Ward Road and Gene’s Native Smokes and resulted in traffic being backed up going both directions as the damaged vehicles, one on its side, blocked the highway. Emergency personnel from the Oroville Fire Department worked to extricate the passengers from the crashed vehicles, including peeling back the roof of the Tahoe. The fire department also helped to control traffic on the highway. Officers from the WSP, Oroville Police Department and Okanogan County Sheriff’s Department responded to the accident, as well as emergency personnel with the Oroville Ambulance.

While Trooper Lovell lists the cause of the accident as both drivers Driving Under the Influence, charges are pending.

Both vehicles were towed by Thompson Bee’s Towing to the WSP bullpen in Okanogan while the accident investigation continues.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are the Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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