Three-way collision on Highway 3 kills driver

MASON COUNTY — A 58-year-old Tahuya driver was killed and a 37-year-old Shelton man was seriously injured Monday, May 15 in a Highway 3 collision involving three vehicles.

The accident at 8:42 a.m. also injured a 49-year-old passenger, Ronald VanBoeyen of Port Orchard. He was transported to Mason General Hospital in Shelton with minor injuries.

A 1995 Chevrolet GMT-400 pickup driven by Mark Billings heading southbound on SR 3 at milepost 8 lost control as it approached slow-moving traffic, then rear-ended a 2009 Nissan Titan pickup driven by 34-year-old Lauren Wendt of Tacoma.

Billings was pronounced dead at the scene.

Wendt’s truck was sent by the collision to the highway’s centerline, where it then entered the northbound lane and struck a third vehicle head-on, driven by Felipe Flores-Cortes, 37, of Shelton.

Flores-Cortes was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with serious injuries. The victim’s 2000 Chevrolet Silverado truck was totaled in the collision.

Washington State Patrol officers closed the roadway for more than six hours while they investigated the accident. It’s unknown whether alcohol or drugs had impaired Billings. All four victims were wearing their seat belts, according to a state patrol report.

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