Two Wrong-Way crashes, Wednesday 22


Isabella Hansen

In Purdy, a stolen truck was being driven the wrong way through the westbound lanes on Highway 16. According to the Washington State Patrol, the vehicle crashed into multiple cars. Washington State Trooper Katherine Weatherwax says that a man was driving the Ford pickup on the highway just before one p.m. on Wednesday, March 22. Before entering Pierce County, the truck swerved into the westbound highway and crashed into an SUV with two occupants, who were taken to St. Joseph Medical Center for their injuries. 

The driver of the truck fled the scene on foot into the woods, and the police set up containment and conducted a search with a tracking dog. Both lanes going westbound on Highway 16 were closed around the crash area. For nearly six hours, traffic was re-directed onto Highway 302 in Purdy. No reports have come up on whether they have found and arrested the stolen pickup’s driver yet.

The same day, Wednesday, March 22, another wrong-way crash occurred. On the west Seattle bridge, a pickup was traveling in the wrong direction, colliding with another vehicle. The driver and passenger that the pickup crashed into died from the collision; They were both 18 years old. The pickup driver was taken to the hospital and is under investigation for vehicular homicide.

Compared to other vehicle crashes, wrong-way collisions are infrequent. On July 22, 2022, wrong-way drivers were reported to be involved in just 1% of fatal motor vehicle crashes. Though wrong-way collisions are less common than other crashes, they can still be fatal. Driving is often taken advantage of by people. If you or your planned driver do not feel suitable to drive, don’t let them. Even if you are ready to drive, remember others may not be as responsible, so stay alert to possible collisions.


Friedrich, Ed. “Westbound Highway 16 Closed While Police Search for Crash Suspect.” Gig Harbor Now, 23 Mar. 2023, 

Legalinsitespublisher. “How Common Are Wrong-Way Accidents?” McMath Woods P.A., 1 Mar. 2023, accidents%20are%20 relatively,300%2D400%20 deaths%20a%20 year. 

Phair, Vonnai. “Crash on West Seattle Bridge Kills Two 18-Year-Olds.” The Seattle Times, The Seattle Times Company, 22 Mar. 2023, 

Pilling, Nathan. “One Seriously Injured after Stolen, Wrong-Way Vehicle Crash on Highway 16.” Kitsap Sun, Kitsap Sun, 22 Mar. 2023, 

Seattle, FOX 13. “Traffic Backed up for Miles after Wrong-Way Crash on SR 16; Causing Driver Sought.” FOX13 News | Seattle & Western Washington | Formerly Q13 News, FOX13 News | Seattle & Western Washington | Formerly Q13 News, 23 Mar. 2023,