Young man, woman killed when car slams into tree, splits in half

(Photo by Washington State Patrol)

OLYMPIA -- A young man and woman were killed Wednesday night when their car left State Route 8 and struck a tree with such force that the vehicle split in half, the Washington State Patrol said.

The car, a 1994 Mazda Protege, was traveling eastbound on SR 18 at a high rate of speed about 10 miles east of McCleary. Trooper Guy Gill said the car left the roadway to the left, swerved back onto the roadway and then went into a broadside skid, continuing off the roadway again and striking a tree, where it split in half.

Dead at the scene were the driver, 19-year-old Craig Thiessen of Montesano, and his passenger, 19-year-old Alexis Guzman of McCleary.

The State Patrol listed the cause of the accident as excessive speed. It was unknown if drugs or alcohol were involved.