Conway, WA– The Washington State Patrol responded to a fatal crash involving six passenger vehicles and a commercial delivery truck on Southbound Interstate 5 near Conway around 5:35 a.m. on April 30th, 2019.
According to a press memo from the Washington State Patrol, the six vehicles and the commercial delivery truck were all traveling Southbound on Interstate 5 when the passenger vehicles began slowing in a construction zone because maintenance was being performed in the Southbound Lanes of I-5.
Troopers say, 54-year old Steven Beltran of Tulalip was driving a 2017 Freight Delivery Van and for reasons still under investigation, did not slow down and slammed into the back-end of a white 2005 Chevrolet Astro Van. The force of the impact pushed the Astro Van and the delivery truck into the back of a maroon 1993 Chevrolet Corvette being driven by 57-year old Jeffrey Jensen of Sedro-Woolley. Jensen’s vehicle then came to rest in the median. The force of the crash caused the Delivery Van and the Astro van to continue forward where they struck the rear of a black 2012 Mitsubishi Galant being driven by 43-year old Angela Phares of Mount Vernon, pushing her vehicle into the median. The Delivery Truck and Astro Van then hit a gray 2009 Ford Escape being driven by 20-year old Pablo Sanchez, with an unlisted address. The force of the crash caused his vehicle to be pushed into a white 2009 Kia Rio being driven by 37-year old Nathan Wilcox of Sedro-Woolley. The Ford Escape then Came to rest in the median of the freeway and Wilcox vehicle then struck a 1995 Saturn being driven by 42-year old John Cartee of Mount Vernon. Wilcox vehicle came to rest against the guard rail and Cartee’s vehicle stopped on the right shoulder of the freeway. A passenger in Sanchez’s vehicle, 22-year old Elsie Sanchez was injured and transported to Skagit Valley Hospital for treatment. Nathan Wilcox was injured and transported to Skagit Valley Medical Center.
Troopers say the force of the impact from the delivery truck into the Astro Van caused the Astro Van or the Delivery truck to catch fire and both vehicles became fully involved in flames. The driver of the Astro Van died at the scene and has not been identified by Troopers.
Trooper Heather Axtman told The Bellingham Herald, the State Patrol’s Major Accident Investigation Team is handling the case because a commercial vehicle is involved. “They’ll be looking at whether there was a mechanical issue or if it was a human failure.” Axtman said.
Several Vehicles were impounded for safe keeping by Budget Towing and Peter’s Towing.
The cause of the crash and any possible charges are both remain under investigation. Troopers say drugs or alcohol were not involved in the crash.