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Originally published December 21, 2012 at 8:05 PM | Page modified December 22, 2012 at 11:38 AM

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2 killed on Hwy. 2 by falling tree

Two Bothell residents were killed Friday afternoon when a falling tree hit their SUV as they drove on Highway 2 near Stevens Pass.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Two Bothell residents were killed on Highway 2 Friday after a tree fell on their vehicle about 21 miles west of Leavenworth near Stevens Pass, according to the State Patrol.

Timothy Owen, 58, was driving a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban in the eastbound lanes when the tree fell around 1:20 p.m., troopers said.

Owen and passenger Janine Reed, 56, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Two men and two women, passengers who were all in their 20s, were taken to Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee, police said. Their conditions were not immediately known.

The highway, which was closed between Milepost 64 at the summit and Milepost 84 east of the summit, reopened in both directions several hours later, according to police.

A spokeswoman for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) said driving conditions over the preholiday weekend are expected to be difficult at best.

Bronlea Mishler said drivers should plan ahead, leave early and prepare for wintry conditions.

People headed over any of the mountain passes, including the Mount Baker Highway, which was reopened at 4 p.m. on Friday should bring chains, she said.

The highway had been closed since early Tuesday so crews could clear more than 175 fallen trees, according to WSDOT.

Mishler said drivers in the Seattle area should be mindful that the drawspan on the Highway 520 floating bridge is scheduled to be opened four times for holiday cruise-boat traffic on Saturday, starting at 4:30 p.m. The last scheduled opening on Saturday is at 10:30 p.m.

A Seahawks game, which kicks off at 5:20 p.m. Sunday, could also affect traffic, she said.

For more information on weather and traffic conditions, see the Department of Transportation website at www.wsdot.wa.gov. To check on conditions on the mountain passes, go to wsdot.com/traffic/passes.

The department will be sending out automatic Twitter updates at @wsdot_traffic and @wsdot_passes.

Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or cclarridge@seattletimes.com`

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