Governor Chris Gregoire was involved in a traffic accident this afternoon, but was not injured, the Washington State Patrol has announced.
WSP spokesperson Dan Coons said her Chevy Suburban was “side-swiped” about 2 pm as she was traveling southbound on I-5 near SR 516 in Des Moines.
Coons said the weather was a factor – notable for its driving rain and powerful winds gusting to near 35 mph reported by the National Weather Service. Gale force winds are generally considered to start at 45 mph according to Wiki.answers.
“It was just one of many kinds of accidents due to the weather today,” said Coons.
The driver of the other vehicle was also uninjured. In addition, damage to the Governor’s Chevy Suburban was slight and she was able to continue on to Olympia.
Further, the WSP has released a statement describing the policies for transporting the Governor that were in place when the incident occurred.
“As always, the Governor was accompanied by a security detail from the State Patrol. Other troopers responded to the scene for the collision investigation and the Governor has returned to Olympia. The Governor is transported in a variety of vehicles; today she was traveling in a Suburban.”
The WSP did not say if any arrests were made, but Coons did say that the investigation is continuing.
The Governor’s Communications Office said Gregoire had been in Everett earlier in the day for ceremonies heralding the transfer of Boeing’s first 787 Dreamliner after several years of delays to its customer, All Nippon Air. Afterwards, she had an undisclosed “interview” in Seattle and was heading back to her office when the traffic incident occurred.
© 2011 The Mountain News – WA