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Author Topic: Crystal Ski Instructors Recount White River Rescue  (Read 1093 times)
Amar Andalkar

Posts: 1231

Crystal Ski Instructors Recount White River Rescue
« on: 01/14/13, 01:40 PM »

Three news stories:

Great work by the Crystal instructors to take swift action while other bystanders watched stunned -- true heroes.

But this post could also be titled "Aggressive driver passing cars on icy SR 410 is lucky to be alive and not to have killed his passenger or others":

The 48-year-old driver of a 1998 four-wheel drive Toyota 4 Runner had reportedly lost control on the ice as he attempted to pass a slower vehicle, leaving the roadway and careening end over end down a rocky ledge, according to the Washington State Patrol. The Toyota landed upside down with the windows under the water of the snow and ice covered White River with both the driver and his 19-year-old passenger stuck inside.
The driver was cited for speed too fast for the icy conditions with a penalty of $175.

High-res photo:

Please, people have got to stop passing others needlessly on icy roads -- I've seen numerous posts on TAY over the years complaining about slow drivers on 410, and it seems likely that some of those posters would have been passing cars in this situation.

I always fear for my life whenever someone passes me on an icy two-lane road. I learned to drive in Massachusetts, on all kinds of snowy and icy roads without benefit of 4WD/AWD or ABS, and by Northwest standards of passive-sheep driving, I drive fairly aggressively and generally 6-8 mph over the speed limit on dry roads. I totally understand and feel the urge to pass, to enjoy the freedom of the open road ahead, and not be stuck behind an annoying slowpoke.

But I also adjust my speed based on road conditions much more than most drivers, and so drive well under the posted limit when road conditions are slippery, despite driving a 4WD vehicle for the last 12+ years. Anyone who has ever passed someone like me driving an appropriate amount below the speed limit on an icy 410 (or any other snowy/icy road) was driving far above a reasonable and prudent speed given the road conditions, and needlessly endangering all of our lives and limbs.

Hope this story and photo slows a few drivers down on icy roads. It will slow me down a bit more whenever the road is icy.



Posts: 924

Re: Crystal Ski Instructors Recount White River Rescue
« Reply #1 on: 01/14/13, 04:59 PM »

When I was young, nobody passed me..  Now, at 60+, many do, when conditions are treacherous.  Recently, what appeared at a glance to be an 80 something, left me in the spindrift.  Perhaps life holds for us [who survive] an inverted bell curve..  Oh, yeah..!   

"Maybe we should ban hikers from anywhere that there is a potential threat to surface water?"   [courtesy Newtrout, 2011]

"Good for you for getting it and thank goodness I wasn't there with you."  [courtesy mikerolfs, 2014]

Posts: 141

Re: Crystal Ski Instructors Recount White River Rescue
« Reply #2 on: 01/14/13, 05:21 PM »

Good reminder for us all Amar.  My wife and I gave up Greenwater as our home partly due to the number of close-calls that resulted from having to commute downhill on 410 during ski season against uphill passing in no passing zones. 

It is worth a nod to the volunteer fire and rescue folks who work out of Greenwater (and often Enumclaw given the split in Counties) who put themselves on the line repeatedly dealing with incidents that easily could have been avoided each year on 410.  A good friend used to serve as a volunteer and Chaplain our of the Greenwater Station, and I can't believe what he dealt with in any given year -- glad this one had a happy ending, too many haven't.

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