Collisions and Injuries
Onalaska man dies in I-5 collision
An Onalaska Man has been killed after veering into the Jersey barrier on I-5 in Napavine Friday, according to the Washington State Patrol.
Micheal E. Seifert, 61, had been traveling southbound near Exit 72 when his 1997 Toyota pickup swerved into the barrier, puncturing the left, front tire. The vehicle continued traveling with the driver’s side scraping against the barrier for approximately 600 feet before coming to a stop.
Seifert was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital where he was declared deceased. The cause of the collision was reported as wheels off the roadway, and it is unknown if drugs or alcohol played a factor.
Driver in school bus collision resigns
The driver of a school bus that ran off the road at Exit 63 April 9 has resigned from the Winlock School District in response to the collision.
Ronnie Withrow, 53, of Winlock, had been driving the Toledo/Winlock United soccer team back from a game against Stevenson when the bus failed to stop at the intersection between the northbound onramp and SR 505, continuing down an embankment on the north side of the highway. No serious injuries were reported and the Washington State Patrol (WSP) initially stated the cause had been faulty brakes, but a report released April 12 amended the cause to driver inattention after an inspection of the bus revealed no mechanical problems were apparent. Withrow was then cited for failing to stop at a stop sign and his subsequent resignation was accepted by the Winlock School District Board April 24.
I the mean time, bus service to Winlock students has gone uninterrupted as the Toledo School District has lent a bus for use while Winlock prepared to lease a bus through their insurance company, according to Winlock Superintendent Shannon Criss. Criss stated a second bus had broken down shortly after the April 9 collision and said the district was grateful for Toledo’s support.
Arrests & Referrals
Winlock woman could face hit-and-run charge
A local woman has been referred for hit-and-run after striking a parked vehicle near Winlock Saturday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
Leann R. Sanders, 23, of Winlock, had been traveling east on the 900 block of Byham Rd., west of Winlock, when she left the roadway in her 1990 Suzuki Sidekick and struck a parked 2004 Chevrolet pickup, causing minor damage to both vehicles. The owner of the pickup heard the crash from her nearby residence and looked out the window to see Sanders driving away from the scene.
Deputies later contacted Sanders who admitted to the crash and said she left because she was afraid to speak with the owner of the truck. She was mailed an infraction for driving with wheels off the roadway and has been referred to the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office for a charge of hit-and-run.
Those with information about ongoing investigations are encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at (360) 740-1266 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-748-6422.
Bullying stemmed though suspect at large
A rash of malicious bullying has stopped at Winlock Miller Elementary School due to the installation of video cameras, though the offender still remains at large.
It was reported March 20 to the Winlock School District Board that second grader Kiya Peppers had been receiving anonymous death threats during the previous two months on paper and other classroom objects left on or near her desk. Kiya’s mother Brandy Peppers told board officials she was ready to move her daughter out of Winlock if the problem persisted, noting Teacher Rene Bottoms and Principal Jim Swan had been diligent in their attempts to put a stop to the harassment.
Swan followed up with the board April 24 and said there have been no further instances of harassment after surveillance cameras were installed in the classroom, adding administrators still do not know who was leaving the notes in the first place. Superintendent Shannon Criss told the board the district’s insurance carrier had provided a handwriting expert to analyze the notes, but she did not report any findings regarding the potential identity of the bully.
The Winlock Police Department has said they are prepared to seek an arrest if an offender is found.