Two die in car crashes in region over holiday

Four people were killed in traffic accidents – including one in Pierce County and one in Thurston County – over the extended Memorial Day weekend, the Washington State Patrol reported Tuesday.

The number of traffic deaths was up one from 2008, when three traffic fatalities were investigated. Another two people died in non-traffic-related incidents this year.

In Pierce County, 33-year-old Anthony T. McDonald was killed Sunday when his Jeep left the road and overturned in Parkland.

In Thurston County, 22-year-old Natalie McLaughlin was killed Sunday when a van crossed into oncoming traffic on Highway 12 and hit her vehicle. The other driver is being investigated on suspicion of vehicular homicide charges.

The State Patrol sent out extra troopers and focused on finding suspected drunken drivers and speeders through the three-day holiday weekend. They also looked for aggressive drivers and seat belt violators.

Statewide, troopers arrested 320 drivers on suspicion of drunken driving. In Pierce County, 17 suspected drunken drivers were arrested, trooper Brandy Kessler said. In Thurston County, eight suspected impaired drivers were arrested.

Troopers working Friday through Monday in Pierce and Thurston counties:

 • Made two drug arrests – one in each county.

 • Arrested six people on outstanding warrants – three in each county.

 • Stopped 84 suspected aggressive drivers in Pierce County and 23 in Thurston County.

 • Investigated 54 collisions in Pierce County and 27 in Thurston County.

 • Logged 585 traffic stops in Pierce County and 483 in Thurston County.

In King County, 15 extra troopers patrolled the roads over the weekend. The State Patrol reported no serious injury or fatality crashes on King County highways.

The troopers arrested 66 suspected impaired drivers and responded to 78 crashes in King County. Of those, 19 involved injuries.

As part of the emphasis, nine troopers concentrated Saturday morning on southbound Interstate 5 in Federal Way. The emphasis lasted from 6:30 to 10 a.m. and resulted in 107 stops for speeding, two drunken-driving arrests, six drug arrests and the recovery of one stolen car.

Stacey Mulick: 253-597-8268