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Scene of a head on fatality crash in the northbound lanes of I-5 (July 1, 2020). WSDOT traffic camera

Names released in fatal I-5 head-on crash

Officials with the Washington State Patrol (WSP) released the names of those involved in a fatal head-on crash in the northbound lanes of I-5 between Smith Road and Slater Road yesterday evening, July 1st about 8:20pm.

According to a press memo from WSP, David B Johnson, age 73, of Blaine, has been identified as the only passenger in a silver 1998 Lexus GS that was southbound in the northbound lanes at the time of the crash. Johnson was declared dead at the scene.

Gary V Johnson, age 75, of Graham, Washington, was identified as the driver of the Lexus. He was transported from the crash scene to PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center unconscious and in critical condition according to WSP Trooper Heather Axtman.

An 18-year-old Ferndale woman, Ilia M Castrejon, was driving a red 2001 Toyota Camry northbound when the crash occurred according to the press memo. Castrejon was transported to PeaceHealth as a precaution with non-life-threatening injuries according to Axtman.

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Drugs and/or alcohol are suspected to be involved. Everyone involved were wearing seatbelts. Both vehicles had to be towed from the scene.

The WSP press memo said the cause was under investigation and charges were pending. Axtman told My Ferndale News last night that Gary Johnson was facing charges of suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) and vehicular homicide.

Axtman said the southbound Lexus was assumed to have entered the northbound lanes of I-5 at the Main Street interchange. The crash occurred just over 1.5 miles away and at freeway speeds, Axtman said.

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According to Washington State Patrol Trooper Heather Axtman, troopers had received multiple reports of a silver Lexus traveling southbound in the northbound lanes and were heading to the area when the crash occurred.

The northbound lanes were closed until 11:30pm while WSP investigated the crash. Drivers were being detoured off northbound I-5 at the Slater Road interchange during the closure.

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