TONASKET – A semi-tractor trailer carrying a load of white rock left the road after a deer hit by a car in the northbound lane flew through the truck’s windshield near Janis Bridge south of Tonasket.
The accident occurred around 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, according to the incident report by Washington State Patrol Trooper Ted Shook. The crash led to the temporary closure of the northbound lane as rock was being removed from the highway.
Richard L. Sanche, 50, Vernon, BC, was driving a 2015 Honda Civic northbound on SR97, about two miles south of Tonasket near Milepost 312, when it struck a deer that was in the roadway. The deer became airborne and struck the windshield of a 2007 Kenworth truck with dump trailer being driven by Lloyd Caton Jr., Tonasket. The truck went over the centerline and across the northbound lane and came to rest off the road in the northbound ditch, according to Trooper Shook.
Caton was transported by ambulance to North Valley Hospital, then airlifted to Confluence Health for further treatment. Sanche, whose car ended up parked on the shoulder of the road, was not injured. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident.
Sanche’s car, while damaged, was drivable from the scene. The tractor-trailer was towed by Randy’s towing after the calcium carbonate quarried by Columbia River Carbonates, near Wauconda, was transferred to another truck.
Neither driver was charged in the accident.