What about that big accident?
Question: What happened on the morning of January 13th? You probably know of a 23-car accident on Interstate 90 near Ryegrass, but what else was going on? Did you know all three state patrol units responded to this accident from Cle Elum, over 30 miles away? Is not the state patrol to patrol, looking for black ice conditions, the supposed cause of this accident?
Studded tires are the only tires that hold the road during black ice conditions. Proof of that happened when police and ambulances, no longer equipped with studded tires, had to use the shoulder of the road to even reach the scene of this accident. They were also considering wasting time putting on chains! And the Department of Transportation still claims the ban they seek on studded tires is about safety?
If you listen to the DOT, or they succeed in getting their ban, you will hit the next patch of black ice without studded tires and lose complete control. Which, as any accident investigator will tell you, is far more deadly, than the damage caused to roadways by studded tires. -- Jason Hartney, Ellensburg
Answer:You've raised some good questions about the Interstate 90 accident near Ryegrass. On Jan. 14, we published a story about the accident that was provided to us by the Associated Press. The story did not address all the issues you raised and now, given the passage of time, it's unlikely that we would be able to report definitively on the events of that morning. But we will keep your questions in mind as we report on any changes in rules regarding studded tires and chains. -- Gary Graham, managing editor