A two-vehicle crash Friday afternoon on state Highway 503 in rural Clark County killed two women and a 5-year-old girl, and left two other children in critical condition.
Clark County sheriff’s deputies and firefighters were dispatched at 3:47 p.m. to the 16200 block of Northeast 117th Avenue, just north of where the highway crosses Salmon Creek. The first arriving responders told dispatchers that it appeared multiple vehicles were involved, according to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian.
A Life Flight helicopter was requested to respond to the scene but was later canceled.
Washington State Patrol spokesman Will Finn told The Columbian that the driver of a red northbound Volkswagen Golf, identified as 41-year-old Battle Ground woman Kristi Byars, attempted to pass traffic on the left. She entered a southbound lane of the highway and collided head-on into a blue minivan with three children inside.
The driver of the blue minivan was identified as Rosa M. Wilson, 31, of Brush Prairie.
Both drivers were killed, Finn said. The other children, a 7-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl, were taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland. All three children were passengers in Wilson’s 2007 Honda Odyssey minivan.
All lanes of the highway were blocked while the crash was investigated, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. The highway reopened around 9 p.m.