Victim in 9 car pile up near Ritzville says crash "sounded like explosion"



Posted on December 21, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Updated Saturday, Dec 21 at 9:40 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.—Multiple people were still recovering Saturday night from their injuries after a nine car pile up on I-90 on Friday.

The crash near Ritzville killed one person and left two others in serious condition.            

21-year-old Sean Hauck was on his way to Seattle for the holidays when the cars around him spun out of control. He described what happened next as a scene straight out of an action movie.

"Sounds of tearing metal, it almost sounded like an explosion really,” said Hauck.

Hauck said the crashing itself only lasted about 15 to 20 seconds but it seems to last a lot longer than that.

"I saw in my rear view mirror the rest of the cars coming at me and just thought to myself, please let me live,” said Hauck.

Washington State Patrol troopers said a woman crashed into another stopped car. That car had stopped because of an accident near mile post 229. A chain reaction of collisions came after that. Hauck said he was in the next lane over.

“This is not going to be good, how can I live through this,” said Hauck.

A total of nine cars crashed west of the Tokio exit. Hauck made it out okay.

"I tried to go up against the guard rail to try to slow down,” said Hauck.

He said victims crawled out of their cars after they came to a halt.

"One guy completely sliced up his stomach coming out of his window that was smashed, kids were crying,” said Hauck.

One woman died at the scene and seven others were sent to the hospital with minor or serious injuries.

I-90 was closed for about 12 hours as Washington State Patrol cleared the scene.

Troopers said everyone was wearing a seat belt. They said drivers traveling through the snow too fast were to blame.

Hauck said it was not anybody’s fault and said he knows he was lucky.

"I probably would've smashed into the back of the semi and I wouldn't know what would have happened,” said Hauck.

Five other victims were out of the hospital with minor injuries Saturday night.

Two other victims were still in the hospital recovering from their serious injuries.

Troopers said charges are pending.