Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Five people were injured on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2002, in a two-vehicle accident at milepost 27 on state Route 97 at the Satus Summit.
According to the report, a 1987 Dodge driven by Everardo H. Garcia, 23, Yakima, was southbound on SR 97 and a 2001 Honda Prelude driven by Beverly J. Lerch, 40, Eugene, Ore., was northbound. The Dodge crossed the centerline, colliding head-on with the Honda and blocking the northbound lane.
Garcia and three passengers in his vehicle -- Jose P. Garcia, 25, Yakima, Alfonso Sedano, 26, Yakima, and Urbano Sedano, 26, Yakima -- were all injured in the accident and transported by ambulance to Klickitat Valley Hospital in Goldendale. All four were wearing seatbelts.
Lerch, who was also wearing a seatbelt, was also injured and transported by ambulance to KVH.
Both vehicles were totaled.
Four men from the Woodland area have been located after spending a night in the woods in central Skamania County.
At approximately 10:30 a.m. Monday, two of the individuals walked several miles to a fire station near the Eagle Cliff Store, approximately 20 miles east of Cougar. A short time later, the other two individuals were located in the Pepper Creek area east of Swift Reservoir.
James Puffer, 16, Woodland, Jason McCalister, 19, Ariel, Joseph McCalister, 21, Ariel, and Chad Farris, 17, Ariel had left the Woodland area Sunday to go scout for snow. The parents of one of the overdue thought they might got to areas in either Cowlitz or Skamania counties. Both sheriff's offices were advised and began area checks where it was believed the four would have gone.
By 7 a.m. Monday, the four had not been found. Search and rescue volunteers with snowmobiles were called to assist in the search. Foot tracks were discovered in the fresh snow on Forest Road 25 Monday morning and a short time later, two of the individuals walked into the fire station. The two advised they had been involved in a vehicle accident. No one was injured and the other two were walking out behind them.
All four were cold and wet but in otherwise good condition. Emergency Medical Services were called to evaluate one of the individuals for exposure or frostbite.