A 22-year-old Chehalis man was ejected from a vehicle and died following a crash Saturday night west of Chehalis, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
The man was reportedly leaving a wedding reception, said Chief Deputy Dusty Breen with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
The crash was reported just after 8 p.m. Saturday in the 400 block of Highway 603, according to Lewis County Fire District 6.
Breen said dispatchers were initially alerted to a vehicle that had crashed and was on fire. Witnesses in the area heard the collision and went out to investigate. One witness got a fire extinguisher and put the fire out, but saw that no one was in the vehicle.
Witnesses later found the driver had been ejected, Breen said.
Fire District 6 crews attempted to render aid, but the driver was pronounced deceased at the scene.
“Another witness also in the area had stated that the same vehicle had passed them at a high rate of speed and actually partially came into their lane and that they had swerved to avoid a collision,” Breen said.
The crash is under investigation by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Washington State Patrol. Breen told The Chronicle a preliminary report found the vehicle, a 2007 Subaru Impreza was heading east on Highway 603 at a high rate of speed when it failed to negotiate a corner, then went into a ditch, causing the vehicle to roll. The driver did not appear to have been wearing a seatbelt, Breen said.
Breen said a sergeant on the scene reported smelling alcohol coming from the car, but it has not been determined if alcohol played a roll in the collision.
The Lewis County Coroner’s Office has not yet released the name of the deceased driver.
The Chronicle will update this story when more information is available.