Woman Dies in Pacific County Accident, 2 Small Children Survive
An Astoria woman died and 2 children were sent to the hospital on Wednesday following the 2nd car vs. tree collision reported locally this week.
26 year old Jessica Rath of Astoria was driving on State Route 401 in Pacific County sometime early Wednesday morning, when Washington State Patrol reports that she left the roadway before striking a tree head on.
Rath died at the scene. Inside her car were her 2 girls, ages 2 and 4. Washington State Patrol Trooper Winger said that “The 4 yr old girl may have pulled the 2 yr old from the car and kept her warm with a blanket. 2 yr old has very serious injuries.”
The accident could have gone unnoticed as the vehicle was off the roadway and hidden in the treeline. Authorities say a passing driver who stopped to investigate a damaged tree found the wreckage.
Winger says that the 2 girls were likely alone for many hours until a passing motorist noticed the tracks leading from the roadway. He said that most people may not have been so observant.
Both girls were transported to Columbia Memorial Hospital for their injuries, where their father met them. It’s not known if they were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the accident.
Winger said that the accident is “bittersweet” and gave credit to the driver who spotted the vehicle saying “Well done is all you can say to the person who took the time to find these baby girls at this crash.”
Winger said that the mother had driven Tuesday night to Hoquiam to pick up her fisherman husband but then headed south when she found out her husband’s boat was headed elsewhere.