The driver killed in a fiery crash on U.S. Highway 195 south of Hatch Road on Tuesday night was identified this morning as a 57-year-old Spangle man.
William H. Adsit was headed south on the highway in a 1994 Ford Ranger pickup truck when he collided with a snowplow truck that was stopped on the shoulder of the outside lane about 8:50 p.m.
Adsit died at the scene. He was wearing his seat belt, State Patrol troopers said.
The driver of the truck, a 1993 International dump truck, had gotten out of the vehicle to remove a deer carcass from the roadway, troopers said.
An investigation was continuing today.
According to reports from the scene on Tuesday night, witnesses said the compact truck was speeding south on U.S. 195 when it crashed into the snowplow between Hatch and Mullen Hill roads. The plow was parked along the side of the highway, but was still partially in one of the lanes with its lights on, said Washington State Patrol Trooper Troy Briggs.
The plow driver was not in the cab at the time, and was uninjured.
The wreckage was so badly charred that neither the license plate nor vehicle identification numbers were legible, nor were investigators able to locate identification. A special accident investigation team from Western Washington was dispatched to the scene, Briggs said.
A woman at the scene said the truck was traveling at least 80 mph when it passed her car on the highway, then crashed into the back of the snowplow. “It exploded on impact,” she said of the pickup truck.
Southbound lanes of the highway were blocked for hours.
Briggs said fiery crashes are uncommon.
“It’s something you see a lot in the movies,” he said Tuesday night at the scene. “In real life, it’s actually very rare to have a vehicle catch fire.”
In addition to the Washington State Patrol, Spokane County sheriff’s deputies, Spokane firefighters and emergency medical crews were expected to be at the scene throughout the night.