Chinese nationals in fatal wreck identified

FORKS — The woman who was killed in a single-car wreck south of Forks on Saturday has been identified as Wen Juan Ding, a member of a group from China apparently on a sightseeing drive of the Olympic Peninsula.

Wen, 27, temporarily living in Redmond, was riding in the back seat of a rented 2009 Nissan Ultima heading south on U.S. Highway 101 when the car veered off the right side of the road, went into a ditch and crashed into a concrete culvert.

The wreck occurred at the highway’s intersection with Upper Hoh Road intersection about 13 miles south of Forks, the State Patrol said.

Two other women in the back seat were flown to Harborview Medical Center at about 3 p.m. Yi Cao, 27, was listed in critical condition at the Seattle hospital on Sunday. Ding Qin, 28, was listed in serious condition.

A Harborview spokesperson said on Saturday that at least one of the back seat passengers had life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the car, Bo He, 33, and front-seat passenger Kai Yuan Chen, 30, were treated for minor injuries Saturday at Forks Community Hospital and released.

All five, Chinese nationals, were wearing seat belts.

Wen’s next of kin has been notified, said Trooper Krista Hedstrom, State Patrol spokeswoman.

Contrary to an early dispatch report, none of the three women in the back seat was ejected from the car. Hedstrom said she received an e-mail at 5 a.m. Sunday with the accurate information.

“They had their seat belts on, so that seemed a little odd to me,” Hedstrom said of the first dispatch.

All five people in the vehicle are working for Honeywell International, a technology and manufacturing company, on a three-month contract in Redmond.

“It sounds like they were just out for a drive,” Hedstrom said.

Since none of the survivors can speak English, troopers had to translate through their employers in China via telephone.

The State Patrol cited driver inattention as the cause of the wreck. Drugs or alcohol were not involved, troopers reported.

The destroyed car was taken to Rigby’s Auto Body and Towing in Forks.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-417-3537 or at [email protected]

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