Traffic crash kills one on Interstate 5 in Olympia
Sixteen-year-old Natalya Martinez of Hermiston, Oregon, died Saturday in a wreck on Interstate 5 in Olympia, according to the Thurston County Coroner’s Office.
The wreck happened Saturday afternoon on northbound I-5 near milepost 107. The crash also delayed traffic for more than three hours and injured three people. Martinez died at the scene.
David Willis of Poulsbo, who was set to appear in Thurston County Superior Court on Monday, faced possible vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment charges as a result of his role in the crash.
According to charging documents:
Martinez was driving a Nissan Altima when she pulled to the right shoulder because of a flat tire. She called roadside assistance, and while waiting apparently moved to sit in the back seat with her teenage brother.
Meanwhile, her mother and an uncle showed up and pulled directly behind the Nissan. Their vehicle was not mentioned in earlier Washington State Patrol information released about the crash.
Multiple witnesses told law enforcement that Willis was driving his Ford Focus wagon erratically and at one point left the road and drove onto the shoulder in what was described as an attempt to pass slower traffic.
“Willis struck the left rear of the Altima at freeway speeds, causing both vehicles to rotate violently,” the documents read.
Later, Willis allegedly told detectives that he takes several prescription medications for pain and had smoked marijuana earlier in the day. He also told detectives that he suffers from seizures.
The 42-year-old mother was injured and taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia. The 48-year-old uncle was not injured and neither was Martinez’s brother.
Willis also was injured and so was his passenger, his 8-year-old daughter. Both were taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital for treatment.