La Center woman dies, man injured in motorcycle crash on I-5


A 29-year-old woman from La Center identified as Leslie M. Eckman died and 41-year-old Chris Sombounvong, also of La Center, was injured when they crashed their motorcycles on northbound Interstate 5 on Saturday, May 29.

The Washington State Patrol stated the accident took place at around 11 p.m. when the riders approached a slower moving 2016 Ford Fusion driven by Courtney L. Kent, 37, of Castle Rock.

Both riders of the motorcycles lost control and Sombounvong hit the rear of Kent’s vehicle with his 2021 Ducati V2 motorcycle.

They were both ejected from their motorcycles, according to WSP.

Eckman came to rest in the left lane and was struck by Danielle L. Phillips, 25, of Castle Rock, who was driving a 2019 Volkswagen Jetta. Eckman died at the scene, while Sombounvong came to a rest near the right shoulder. Sombounvong was transported with injuries to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Clinic. Both riders were wearing helmets, according to WSP.

The cause of the accident is under investigation, stated WSP. It’s unknown if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash. Charges are pending against Sombounvong, stated WSP.

Both motorcycles were totaled. The drivers of the vehicles were both wearing seatbelts and were not injured, according to WSP.

Eckman was driving a 2014 blue Suzuki GSX-R750.


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