Old Man Winter made an early appearance near Waterville Wednesday morning, snarling traffic and causing chaos commuters and law enforcement.

A sudden snowstorm led to a semi-truck jackknifing at the top of Pine Canyon on U.S. Highway 2 around 10:15.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Jeremy Weber says the semi was completely blocking the roadway, and that led to a separate collision involving three cars.

“Two vehicles were stopped waiting for the semi-truck to be moved when a third vehicle came up over the hill and crashed into the car at the rear, which then struck the car in front.”

Troopers also responded to another two-vehicle accident near Waterville about fifteen minutes later that was originally believed to be a hit-and-run but was later discovered to be a crash involving an elderly man who had left the scene before contacting the authorities.

Trooper Weber says the snowy conditions also played a role in that accident and adds the 45 frenzied minutes should serve as a stern reminder to all motorists that winter is on the way.

“The weather definitely played a factor into all the crashes because out of nowhere Waterville got a couple inches of snow – a real heavy, wet snow – the kind that’s super slick and is a recipe for disaster. It should be a reminder for all of us that winter is around the corner and our driving habits need to change or there’s going to be a lot of wrecks.”

U.S. 2 was blocked for roughly an hour before the semi could be removed.

There were no injuries reported in any of the collisions.

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