September 16, 2019
The Washington State Patrol supports and appreciates good-willed drivers pulling off the freeway to help someone stalled by a blown tire or overheated engine — with a caveat: “If you are going to stop, you need to look out for your own personal safety,” said Trooper Ryan Tanner.In the past 11 months, the state patrol has investigated seven automotive vs. pedestrian fatalities in southwest Washington, including three in Clark County. The most recent saw a man killed on northbound Interstate 5 just south of Woodland after he had stopped to check on someone who had wrecked her car on a bridge. In total, that crash snared four vehicles and resulted in serious injuries to two women in addition to the death of the man, Ronnie Walker, 61, of Spokane. At the time, Sgt. Thomas Butsch of the state patrol said, “There’s no shoulders on the bridge. There’s just no space there. A vehicle is really more dangerous than a firearm.”The circumstances of the seven fatalities were not all alike; they did not all involve eager-to-help good Samaritans. Still, state patrol officials offered a series of tips for people who either have to or choose to stop on the side of the freeway.