reader opinion

There's got to be a better way to deal with freeway investigations


I've had it with lengthy delays and miles-long lines on I-5 near Olympia caused by accidents on the freeway.

There's got to be a better way. How many lined-up cars are carrying passengers needing urgent medical treatment? Or headed for important meetings, or a hundred other events that are also of importance? Funerals, airline departures, weddings, government meetings, etc. etc., ad infinitum.

It's not the injured or dead at the scene of an accident. These should certainly get priority attention. But after the ambulances have done their job, it's the lengthy "Investigations" that seem unnecessary, considering the price paid by cars and occupants trapped in line.

I've been told (perhaps incorrectly) that the State Patrol (itself already under-staffed) needs to have an outside law enforcement agency conduct an accident investigation, particularly if they are involved in the accident.

Why? This may make sense in a neighborhood setting with little or no traffic. But it takes a very long time to assemble officers from Olympia, Lacey or Tumwater, who may be off duty or otherwise occupied, and are certainly determined to do a very thorough investigation. But is it worth the delay of thousands of cars and occupants thereof, who are delayed while the last witness is interviewed in depth? There's got to be a better way!

~ Frank Hensley, Tumwater

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  • BobJacobs

    Good point. Is anyone working to find a solution to this problem? Thorough investigations must be done, but can we not find a way to do them without the tremendous costs to thousands of people that Mr. Hensley describes here?

    Bob Jacobs

    Friday, May 24 Report this

  • HotTractor

    Sure, it's good to express concerns about issues that are affecting our lives. I'd be very interested in some solutions. They need to preserve evidence, so having people drive over a possible crime scene seems out of the question, until evidence is collected. Interviewing witnesses need to happen as soon as possible, to attempt to preserve memories. The collation of data and witness evidence could probably and may be, currently done of site.

    So possibly a quicker way to collect evidence from the scene? Not sure how the witness interviews could be quicker, unless a evidenced based process, that could have more people collecting the witness information?

    Friday, May 24 Report this

  • JW

    Yeah, let's possibly jeopardize a criminal conviction on a DUI driver that killed someone by contaminating the crime scene because Frank from Tumwater needs to make his appointment.

    Friday, May 24 Report this