Traffic

Stormy weather contributes to a dozen crashes before noon Tuesday

A dozen car crashes were reported before noon Tuesday in the Olympia area — a reminder to drivers to slow down in wet weather, which is expected to continue through at least Wednesday.

About an inch of rain fell in Puget Sound early Tuesday and it made for a difficult morning commute as wet roads contributed to a dozen crashes, a Thurston County dispatcher said. All of those crashes took place between 5 a.m. and noon.

One of the more serious crashes sent one person to the hospital and closed Boulevard Road Southeast at 18th Avenue in Olympia for about two hours.

The crash, which involved three vehicles and three people, was reported about 10:50 a.m. One woman was temporarily trapped and was later taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in critical condition, Lt. Paul Lower said.

A man suffered a leg injury and was also taken to St. Peter, while a dog was injured and taken to an emergency room for pets, Lower said. The third driver was unhurt, he said.

Traffic was redirected until about 1:20 p.m. when Boulevard Road reopened.

More rain and windy weather is in the forecast, including up to half an inch of rain through Wednesday, with winds up to 30 miles per hour.

The region is already at double the amount of precipitation that is normal for this point in September.

Not only has the wet weather returned but the days are getting shorter. Lower offered a handful of reminders to drivers during this darker, wetter time of year.

First and foremost, slow down, he said.

Pay extra attention at crosswalks and intersections. “Keep your head on a swivel for bicycles, pedestrians and cars,” he said.

Drive with your headlights on, he added, and make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition.

“We haven’t had wet weather like this for some time, so the roads are slick,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Rolf has worked at The Olympian since August 2005. He covers breaking news, the city of Lacey and business for the paper. Rolf graduated from The Evergreen State College in 1990.
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