Wrong-way driver may have been intoxicated


The State Patrol says a Shelton man is believed to have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs when drove wrong way for several miles on Highway 8 last night before sideswiping one car and crashing into another head on. The man also had his 8-month-old daughter with him in the car, said a State Patrol spokesman.

The toddler was treated at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, but is going to be fine, said State Patrol Trooper Guy Gill.

Her father, Mark A. McKern, 31, of Shelton, was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center. He remains in serious condition Tuesday.

Penny B. Ramstein, 42, of Elma, and Karli A. Stillwell, 21, also of Elma, were the drivers in the other two cars. They were both taken to St. Peter’s Hospital in Olympia, treated and released.

The crash happened in Thurston County at the Summit Lake turnoff at about 8:30 p.m. Trooper Gill said McKern drove wrong way, heading east in the westbound lanes, for at least three miles, but judging from some 911 calls received, it was probably farther, likely all the way from McCleary, he said.

McKern allegedly sideswiped the car Ramstein was driving, a 2009 Toyota Camry, then hit the car Stillwell was driving, a 2000 Volkswagen Beetle, head on. McKern was driving a 2002 Hyundai Sonata.

“All in all, we were very lucky this collision didn’t result in a fatality or a multiple fatality,” said Gill.