A wrong-way driver caused a head-on collision Tuesday morning on U.S. Highway 195 that put two people in the hospital and diverted traffic for hours.
One person was in each car, and both were flown to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center by emergency helicopters that landed on the highway.
Jennifer A. Schmidt, 30, of Spokane Valley, was headed north in the southbound lanes when her 1997 Nissan Altima struck 32-year-old Sean D. Moss’ 2009 Hyundai Sonata, a release from the Washington State Patrol said.
Schmidt was in critical condition and Moss, who suffered a broken leg, was listed in satisfactory condition Tuesday night, according to Sacred Heart.
Trooper Matt Weberling said dispatchers received several 911 calls about a car traveling north in the southbound lanes of U.S. 195. Trooper Jeff Sevigney said Schmidt is estimated to have traveled several miles going the wrong direction before the crash.
Drivers in the northbound lanes tried to warn the traffic heading south, but the wrong-way car struck the oncoming Hyundai.
The crash left Schmidt’s crumpled car with the rear end pinned on top of the median cable barrier. Moss’ car ended up in the right southbound lane. Wreckage was scattered across the highway.
Both drivers were wearing seat belts, troopers said. An investigation is underway.
At least 20 emergency vehicles responded to the scene near Cheney-Spokane Road.
Traffic was diverted through a shopping area. The road was closed for several hours.
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