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Accident, helicopter trouble, hole snarl traffic on I-90

by CHARLES H. FEATHERSTONE
Staff Writer | July 10, 2020 5:07 PM

GEORGE — Traffic on the western edge of Grant County was slowed by three incidents Friday.

An accident involving a motorcycle tied up traffic for nearly an hour on the westbound lanes of Interstate 90 on the Vantage Bridge on Friday afternoon, according to a Washington State Department of Transportation.

Washington State Patrol Trooper John Bryant said 48-year-old Russel Harris was heading west on I-90 downhill toward the Vantage Bridge, lost control of his motorcycle and plowed into the jersey barrier separating the directions of travel on the freeway.

Though the situation on I-90 was resolved fairly quickly, the medical helicopter brought in for the injured motorcyclist developed mechanical problems and was stranded where it landed on state Route 26, just south of the interstate, Bryant said. State troopers directed traffic around the helicopter.

“There are a lot of frustrated folks out there,” he said Friday.

In addition, eastbound traffic on I-90 was restricted to one lane until at least Sunday morning due to a three-foot by five-foot hole in the right eastbound lane on the Vantage Bridge.

“It’s a big hole, and the backup is maybe five miles,” Bryant said Friday.

Bryant advised motorists to check the DOT website, call 511 or the Washington State Patrol to check if the roads are OK and to always have alternate routes of travel in mind, especially in central and eastern Washington.