A dusting of snow Saturday morning proved to create slippery roadways for drivers and was implicated in a five-car collision in Port Townsend.
A state Department of Transportation advisory warned of traffic delays on state Highway 20 near Jacob Miller Road in Port Townsend beginning at 8:09 a.m. and ending at 11:25 a.m.
The delays were caused by a pileup collision caused by a driver traveling too fast for weather conditions, according to State Patrol.
Tow people were hurt and the highway was closed in both directions for nearly two hours, according to Bill Beezley, East Jefferson Fire Rescue public information officer.
Prior to the collision, a white 1997 Ford box van driven by Jordan C. Perez, 32, of Port Townsend, was traveling eastbound on Highway 20, according to State Patrol.
Waiting to make turn
At the same time, a red 1993 Jeep Wrangler operated by Robert E. Hoovan, 32, of Port Hadlock, was stopped in the eastbound lane of Highway 20, waiting to make a left turn into a store driveway.
A black 1999 Volkswagen Beetle driven by Raymond C. Jackson, 50, of Port Townsend, also was traveling eastbound on Highway 20 and came to a stop behind the Wrangler.
The Ford box van struck the rear of the Volkswagen which in turn crashed into the Jeep. The Volkswagen continued on, crossing the median into westbound lanes and striking a blue 2000 Ford F-150 driven by Lance J. Annexstad, 37, of Port Townsend.
The F-150 then rotated into the eastbound lane and struck blue 2010 Honda Civic being driven by Fernando E. Lamas of Port Townsend.
Jackson and Annexstad were transported to Jefferson Healthcare, while Alice A. Yantz, 57, of Port Townsend — a passenger in Volkswagen — was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Jackson and Annexstad were treated and released, according to the nursing supervisor on duty at Jefferson Healthcare.
Yantz was listed in serious condition Saturday evening in the intensive care unit at Harborview, according to hospital spokeswoman.
Across the Peninsula, the heaviest snow recorded was 0.1 inch about eight miles southeast of Port Angeles, according to Chris Burke, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.
The Fairchild International Airport near Port Angeles reported trace amounts of snow at 7 a.m. and noon Saturday.
In Sequim, “it looks like there is snow on the ground from previous events — mostly melted,” Burke said.
Some places in the Sequim area received a dusting of snow.
There was a trace of snow near Port Townsend and in Irondale and Port Hadlock, Burke said.
More snow is possible overnight Saturday into today, Burke said.
“I think there is a decent chance late [Saturday] night and [this] morning,” he said.
“We are going to have another short wave coming through.”
A short wave “is just a buckling in the upper flow that through the miracle of physics of a rotating fluid on a sphere causes upward motion in the atmosphere,” Burke explained.
“When the air rises, pressure falls, can’t hold as much moisture and the water vapor condenses.”
The short wave that was expected overnight Saturday is more powerful than the pattern that caused the dusting during the day Saturday, Burke said.
“We will still have cold air in place, [so] is not impossible you will get … zero to one inch of snow” on the North Olympic Peninsula.
“It will be kind of spotty but it is possible everywhere.”
Beginning tonight, “we are going to get a couple of wetter weather systems,” Burke said.
Those will include rain from several fronts arriving tonight with others arriving on Tuesday and Thursday, he said.
“It will be wetter than it has been, but it will all be rain,” Burke said.
“It will be well above 32 degrees. We are calling for temperatures much closer to normal with highs in the 40s and lows in the 30s” throughout the week, he said.
Features Editor Chris McDaniel can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56650, or at [email protected].