A 44-year-old Spokane Valley woman was killed on Interstate 90 in Spokane this morning when she lost control of her vehicle during rush hour and came to a stop sideways in the far left lane.
Laura Syhlman-Annal died at the scene of the collision on the Latah Creek Bridge about 6:30 a.m., said Trooper Joe Leibrecht, who responded to the scene.
The accident backed up westbound traffic on I-90 for nearly three hours after the freeway was reduced to one lane in the vicinity of the accident. Traffic came to a standstill at times through Spokane and was backed up as far east as the Arthur Street on-ramp.
According to witnesses, Syhlman-Annal was headed west in the center lane in a 1986 Ford Mustang when she swerved to the left and then over-corrected to the right, causing her car to come to a stop broadside in the left-hand travel lane, Leibrecht said.
An oncoming 1999 Nissan Sentra driven by Douglas Stewart, 53, of Spokane Valley, collided with the Mustang on the driver’s side.
Leibrecht said that Stewart was traveling at normal freeway speed and it appeared that he did not have time to avoid the collision.
Stewart was taken to Deaconess Medical Center after suffering a chest injury and broken foot, the trooper said.
Leibrecht said that one witness not involved in the accident said that as Syhlman-Anal was headed west across the bridge, she may have been startled by a vehicle on her right that drifted toward her lane, which may have caused her to take evasive action.
Both drivers were wearing seat belts.