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Report from Washington State Patrol



On July 8, 2004, at approximately 4:35 p.m., units from the Washington State Patrol, Department of Transportation, Fire, Aid and Rescue units, responded to a report of a two-car collision on State Route 97 near Satus Pass.

At the time of emergency personnel arrival, both lanes of SR 97 were blocked. Investigation at the scene revealed that Harriet Burk, 49, Beaverton, Ore., was driving a 2000 Toyota 4-door southbound on SR 97 when she attempted to negotiate a pass in the southbound passing lane. After completion of the pass, the Toyota continued to drift east and crossed over the centerline. The Toyota then struck head-on in the northbound lane of travel, a 2000 Chevrolet pickup being driven by a William Knuth, 62, Yakima. The Toyota came to rest on its top blocking the northbound lane of traffic where it also caught fire, while the Chevrolet came to rest in the southbound lanes.

Knuth and his passenger Carol Knuth, 58, were both transported by ambulance to Klickitat Valley Hospital in Goldendale. Mr. Knuth was then taken by Life Flight to Emanual Hospital in Portland, Ore., for serious lower extremity injuries to his legs while Mrs. Knuth suffered a laceration and a possible fracture to her shoulder.

As a result of the collision, Burk was pronounced dead at the scene. All three occupants had been wearing seatbelts and both cars had airbags that deployed. A small dog that had been in the Toyota survived, and was taken to the Veterinary clinic in Goldendale.

The crash caused SR 97 to be closed for over one hour.

The case continues to be under investigation by the Washington State Patrol.

A 20-year-old Stevenson man was taken by Life Flight to Emanual Hospital in Portland, following a two-vehicle accident on July 9, 2004.

According to the report, the accident occurred at approximately 10:31 p.m. on State Route 14 near milepost 46.

The report states Joseph A. Griffith, 20, Stevenson, was driving a 1991 Toyota pickup westbound. The vehicle left the roadway to the north. Griffith then steered back onto the roadway, striking an eastbound semi truck driven by Gary L. Chapman, 52, White Salmon. The Toyota then left the roadway to the north, coming to rest. The semi truck came to rest blocking both east and westbound lanes.

Chapman was not injured in the accident. Both men were wearing seatbelts.

The case is still under investigation by the state patrol.


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