Two killed in motorcycle crash on SR-503 near Battle Ground

State Police believe the motorcycle crashed into the side of a pickup truck while trying to turn north on 503

BATTLE GROUND — Two people were killed Sunday afternoon in a crash on SR-503 north of Battle Ground. According to a memo from Washington State Patrol, a motorcycle operated by 71-year old Michael Rowe of Vancouver was attempting to turn left from 269th Street onto northbound SR-503 when a GMC pick-up towing a trailer came over the hill headed southbound.

Two people were killed Sunday after crashing their motorcycle on SR-503 north of Battle Ground. Photo courtesy Clark County Fire and Rescue

The driver of the truck tried to avoid the motorcycle by going into the northbound lanes of the highway, but troopers on the scene said they believe the motorcycle struck the side of the trailer.

Rowe and his passenger, 68-year old Susan Smith, were thrown from the motorcycle. Both were wearing helmets but were declared dead at the scene. Witnesses said first responders performed CPR on Rowe for some time, but he could not be revived. According to witnesses, it appeared Smith died on impact.

Jason Tevlin and Shary Carter were paying their respects at Lewisville Cemetery when they heard the crash.

“We were just here putting some flowers on some graves and then all of a sudden we heard a big old pop,” Tevlin told KOIN 6 News. “It just hit so hard, it was like almost a gunshot.”

No one in the pickup was injured. SR-503 was closed in the area for several hours during the investigation. Witnesses on social media said it was a horrific scene. The driver of the pickup truck was described as “distraught” after the accident.

Other neighbors told KOIN the area is a bad spot for accidents, due to the hill just before 269th. They said the county needs to consider putting a stop light in there to prevent accidents in the future.

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About The Author

Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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