The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Four injured, two die in Saturday collision


August 23, 2018

A pickup involved in a double fatality accident was missing its left front wheel after the collision. Washington State Patrol photo.

A Vancouver couple died and another couple was badly injured when a pickup collided with their motorcycles on SR 4 at Cathlamet on Saturday.

William J. Neudorher, 56, and Patricia Neudorher, 54, died at the scene of the collision, just east of the SR 4/Messinger Hill intersection. They were riding a 2016 Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Another couple riding a 2015 Harley Davidson motorcycle, Wayne R. Priest and Brenda M. Priest of Sequim, were badly injured. Wayne Priest was airlifted to Peace Health Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver; as of Tuesday afternoon, he had been upgraded to satisfactory condition. Brenda Priest was treated at St. John Medical Center in Longview. A post on Brenda Priest's Facebook page states that a GoFundMe account has been set up for the couple.

According to a report from the Washington State Patrol, the accident occurred about 1 p.m. when a 2014 Dodge Ram pickup driven westbound by Branson Chase Myers, 22, of Longview, crossed the center line and collided with the motorcycles. He wasn't injured.

The Neudorhers and their motorcycle came to rest on the eastbound shoulder of the highway, and the Priests and their motorcycle came to rest on a guardrail on the eastbound lane.

Both motorcycles were totaled. The pickup lost its left front wheel in the collision.

Washington State Patrol accident investigators used a drone to map the scene of a collision at Cathlamet that killed two people and sent two more to hospitals. Washington State Patrol photo.

The accident is still under investigation. Investigating troopers say drugs or alcohol weren't involved. Myers is facing a charge of Negligent Driving, 2nd Degree, Vulnerable User, which means reckless use of a vehicle could harm people or property.

SR 4 was closed from the time of the accident until 7 p.m.

The accident occurred while most local first responders were at a celebration of life service for the late Walter Wright, a 50-year member of the Cathlamet Fire Department.

On Monday, department Chief Vernon Barton had high praise for the first responders.

"They literally got up out of their chairs from Wally Wright's funeral to respond to this accident," he said. "They faced the brutal reality of that type of incident. I just don't have the words to commend them enough."


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