Loose wheel triggers deadly Hwy. 2 crash near Snohomish

Loose wheel triggers deadly Hwy. 2 crash near Snohomish
State troopers respond to the crash scene near the intersection of Highway 2 and Highway 9.
SNOHOMISH, Wash. - A loose wheel in the road triggered a crash that killed one person and injured several others Saturday near on Highway 2 near Snohomish, the Washington State Patrol reported.

State troopers responded to the scene, in the westbound lanes of Highway 2 just east of Highway 9, at about noon.

An investigation found that a 1997 white Chevy Astro van was traveling west on Highway 2 just near Highway 9 when its front driver-side wheel broke free and flew into oncoming traffic.

A green Ford Explorer was headed eastbound on Highway 2, and the driver swerved to avoid the wheel rolling toward him.

Rocky Ottow, 34, of Everett, the driver of Explorer, veered into oncoming traffic, and his vehicle struck broadside by a white 2009 Yukon.

The impact killed Ottow and injured his three passengers, including an 11-year-old boy who suffered a broken pelvis and other broken bones, and had to be airlifted to Harborview.

The other passengers were Ottow's two children, an 8-year-old and a 6-year-old, who were taken in a private vehicle to Providence Colby Hospital when other family members showed up at the crash scene.

The driver of the Yukon, a 31-year-old Snohomish man, was also taken to the hospital, along with his 3-year-old daughter and 4-month-old son, who were riding with him.

The driver of the 1997 Chevy Astro van, a Skykomish man, was not hurt.

KOMO News has learned that Ottow's father was driving in a separate car ahead of his son, and watched the accident unfold behind him in his rearview mirror.

All lanes of Highway 2 were closed for about 3 1/2 hours after the accident as troopers conducted the investigation and cleaned up the roadway. It has now reopened.