Dog may have distracted driver in deadly Skagit County crash

A 64-year-old man died in a major crash on northbound Interstate 5 on Thursday afternoon near Conway, Skagit County, according to trooper Mark Francis of the Washington State Patrol.

The man, Joseph Gibbons, was from Issaquah, the State Patrol reported.

A 19-year-old woman crossed into northbound lanes of the freeway around 2 p.m. while driving south, colliding with Gibbons’ vehicle head-on, troopers said. Four cars were involved in the crash.Two people from the other cars, 23-year-old Truc Nguyen from Tukwila and 42-year-old Sarah Ney from Oak Harbor, went to Skagit Valley Hospital with minor injuries.

The 19-year-old told authorities her dog was running around the car and distracting her, Francis said. But he added police found a pipe in the woman’s car and are looking into whether drugs played a part in the crash.

He said the wreck is being treated as a possible vehicular homicide.

The Seattle Times is not releasing her name because she has not been charged with a crime.The freeway’s northbound lanes reopened around 5:50 p.m., the state Department of Transportation said on Twitter.

Separately, on Whidbey Island, 20-year-old Ansara Miller died Thursday in a head-on crash on Highway 525, according to a State Patrol news release. A 77-year-old man and a 90-year-old woman went to Harborview Medical Center by air. Their conditions were was not immediately known.

The details of the wreck are still being investigated. Miller was not wearing a seat belt when she crashed, the release says.