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Tower Down - 04-24-21 (WA) "Updated 05.09.23"


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WSP: Three dead, two injured in crash on NB I-5 North near Longview




COWLITZ COUNTY, WA (KPTV) - Three people were killed in a crash onNorthbound Interstate 5 near Longview on Saturday.


Washington State Patrol said the crash happened just after 8:00 a.m. at milepost 46.


A vehicle had spun out on I-5, according to WSP. The driver was uninjured and called for a ride while a tow truck was hitching up his car. When his ride arrived, the vehicle carrying two people inside was rammed by a third vehicle.


The driver of the first vehicle was injured and taken to the hospital. The two occupants inside the second car and the tow truck driver died in the crash.


The driver of the third car was seriously injured, taken to the hospital and charged with three counts of vehicular homicide.




More Information Added:


CASTLE ROCK, Wash. (AP) — A woman faces manslaughter charges following a crash on Interstate 5 that killed three people near Castle Rock.


The Washington State Patrol says it is investigating whether 43-year-old Anna-Christie Ireland was driving under the influence when her vehicle struck a vehicle parked on the side of the highway Saturday. The impact pushed the second vehicle into a tow truck driver at the scene.


KOIN-TV reports the tow truck driver and two passengers in the parked vehicle were killed.


The identities of those killed weren’t immediately released.


The patrol says Ireland is under investigation of three vehicular manslaughter charges.


It wasn’t immediately known if Ireland had a lawyer who could speak on her behalf.




From Todd Leiss:

On Saturday, April 24th a tow truck operator in Longview, Washington was struck & killed in a crash on Northbound Interstate 5 near Longview.
The Tow Operator becomes the 19th Emergency Responder Struck & Killed in the first 113 days of 2021, one emergency responder struck and killed every six days on average.
In 2021, 7 Tow Truck Operators, 10 Law Enforcement Officers, 1 Fire Police Officer, and 1 Safety Service Patrol Operators have been struck and killed with hundreds of other emergency responders struck and injured.
Move Over and Slow Down for emergency responders working at incident scenes or alongside the roadway, if you can't Move Over, you must still Slow Down. Stop killing emergency responders who are willing to respond to help others.
Tow Operator Arthur E. Anderson, 63 of Affordable Towing, Longview, Washington becomes the 19th Emergency Responder stuck & killed in the United States in 2021, the 7th tow truck operator.
Wreck on I-5 near Castle Rock kills 3
Battle Ground residents, Longview tow truck driver dead

A car accident on Interstate 5 near Castle Rock killed three people and injured two others Saturday morning, according to the Washington State Patrol.


At about 8 a.m., a car driven by 43-year-old Anna-Christie Ireland of Longview veered into a car parked on the shoulder of the freeway, shoving it into a tow truck that was providing assistance. Ireland faces three counts of vehicular homicide, according to the state patrol. She was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver for her injuries.


Richard H. Stoker, 55, and Karen Stoker, 54, both of Battle Ground, died at the scene. Travis H. Stoker, a 25-year-old Battle Ground resident and a passenger in the same car, was injured and taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.


Their vehicle was parked on the shoulder of the freeway near milepost 45, behind a tow truck with its lights flashing driven by Arthur E. Anderson, a 63-year-old Longview resident. Anderson was also killed at the scene.

Washington State Patrol is investigating the accident’s cause.


UPDATE: Longview tow truck company owner 1 of 3 people killed in Interstate 5 crash Saturday south of Castle Rock


he owner of a Longview tow-truck company was one of three people killed in a crash Saturday morning on Interstate 5 south of Castle Rock when authorities say an impaired driver hit a vehicle parked on the shoulder.


At about 7:50 a.m., Anna-Christie Ireland, 43, of Longview was driving north on I-5 when her vehicle left the road and hit a 2013 Kia Sorento parked on the right shoulder behind an Affordable Towing truck with its emergency lights on, according to the Washington State Patrol.


The crash pushed the Kia into the tow truck and operator Arthur Anderson, 63, of Longview. Anderson died at the scene.


Battle Ground residents Richard Stoker, 55, and Karen Stoker, 54 were in the Kia and died at the scene. Passenger Travis Stoker, 25, of Battle Ground was injured and taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver.


Ireland was injured and taken to PeaceHealth Southwest. She faces three charges of vehicular homicide, according to the patrol.


The crash's cause is under investigation, but drugs or alcohol were involved, according to the patrol.


Anderson’s daughter, Sparkle Chisum, said her father was from Naselle and had been in the towing business for more than 35 years. He owned Affordable Towing.


“He was a good community man, a great dad and grandpa,” she said. “He would do anything for anybody. He always was a helping hand.”


Cowlitz County Sheriff Brad Thurman offered his condolences and recognized Anderson’s years of service in a Facebook post Monday.


“In law enforcement, we work with many different people in many different roles. A group that we work very close with are tow truck operators. This past weekend, Art Anderson (owner of Affordable Towing) was tragically killed in a traffic accident that occurred while he was simply doing his job,” Thurman wrote in the post. “Thank you Art. You will be missed.”


Chisum set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses online at gofundme.com/f/affordable-towing-family-art-anderson.

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So Sad, our deep condolences to all involved. This never seems to stop, the close calls and deaths continue to climb. Last year may have sowed due to Covid. I hope this year doesn't see an increase in Tow Operator deaths. I saw wh the number of officers struck is on a steady increase.

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Longview woman gets 20 years for 2021 I-5 crash


A Longview woman was sentenced to 20 years in state prison Monday after being found guilty last month for her involvement in a 2021 crash that killed three people and severely injured a young man.


Anna-Christie Ireland, 45, of Longview, was found guilty of three counts of vehicular homicide and one count of vehicular assault. Her driver’s license was permanently revoked.


On the morning of April 24, 2021, Ireland was traveling in her boyfriend’s 2011 BMW sedan on northbound Interstate 5 when she crossed the white line and collided into the back of 27-year-old Travis Stoker’s Kia, according to court documents. During the hearing, the prosecutor said Ireland traveled 80 mph.


Richard H. Stoker, 55, and Karen C. Stoker, 54, who died from the crash, were at the scene to pick up their son, Travis Stoker, who was in a one-car collision before the incident. The Kia was in the process of being loaded onto a tow truck for Affordable Towing, and was operated by Arthur E. Anderson, 66, who also died.


Ireland admitted that she used Suboxone and Lorazepam. According to court documents, Ireland could “barely open her eyes,” had slurred speech, and fell asleep while talking to authorities after the crash.


Anderson and the Stokers were pronounced dead at the scene. Travis Stoker was transported to a hospital for multiple injuries ranging from broken ribs, a fractured arm and leg, and damage to internal organs that required some of his intestines to be removed.



Ireland, wearing a black hooded jacket over a black polka dot dress on Monday, kept a stern face as one family member and friend after another of the deceased victims approached the podium to share memories, dreams and lives unfinished. The death of the Stokers left seven people without their parents.


As people spoke, muffled sniffles reverberated in the dimly lit courtroom; people in the galley would wipe away tears from red, swollen eyes.


Ashley Stoker, the daughter of the Stokers, took to the podium to summarize the pain she and her family had endured for the past few years.


She recalls the day of the accident as starting like any other day; she texted her mother, but this time there was no response. As the day went on, she called and texted her mother, father and brother, calling and texting, texting and calling.


“I [felt] silly, [as] I was doing homework while they were dead,” said Ashley Stoker. As she spoke, the bailiffs, court reporter and Ireland looked away; only Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Patricia Fassett watched on.


“I had to grow up fast,” said Ashley Stoker. She described the new level of responsibilities she had, such as handling health insurance for her brother, taking care of her parents’ home and changing bandages on her brother’s wounds.


Ashley Stoker said the loss of her parents has caused her to have nightmares of the crash, describing in vivid detail her vision of the impact with her brother “smashed into the seats” with “so much blood.” She said the event had given her post-traumatic stress disorder.


When Ireland’s mother took to the podium, large sections of the victims’ friends and family left the courtroom as she spoke.


Ireland was the last to speak, removing her dark-rimmed glasses and trying to articulate the suffering that gripped so many people.


“I’m paralyzed with the thought of the difficulties of so much hurt in this room,” she said.


At times Ireland’s voice would crack as she read from a prewritten statement, saying “nothing I can do can fix this. I’m not a cold person."


“I’m sorry, I can’t make this better,” Ireland said before two bailiffs walked with her out of the courtroom, throwing a brief wave to her mother as she exited.



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