Women from Pasco, Quincy Killed in Friday Morning Car Crash
Washington State Patrol is investigating after a fatal accident that killed two women early Friday morning.
UPDATE/NEAR COLFAX, WA - All four women involved in the car crash early Friday morning were students at Eastern Washington University, all 21 and 22-years-old.
According to the university, three of the girls came to the college together as part of the College Assistance Migrant Program referred to as CAMP. It is a federally funded program that helps students from migrant and seasonal farm worker backgrounds during their first year in college. Along with the CAMP program, all four of the girls were heavily involved in the Chicano Education Program and a sorority on campus.
The names of the women were released Friday afternoon: 21-year-old Ashley Gonzalez and 21-year-old Nancy Zepeda both passed away at the scene of the crash. 22-year-old Carmen Gomez was injured and taken to Whitman Hospital, but has since been released. 21-year-old Erica Polito was flown to Sacred Heart after the crash with life threatening injuries and is in critical condition at the hospital.
According to Washington State Patrol, Erica Polito was the driver of the Jetta that caused the crash around 4:45 a.m. Friday. WSP says the roads were slick and that the car lost control and spun around, causing the back of the car to hit an oncoming semi-truck. The driver of that semi was not injured.
Friday afternoon, Rodolfo Arévalo, the president at Eastern, sent an email to students and faculty saying, "All four involved in the crash were female students who are participating in the Chicano Education Program and other student programs on campus. They have provided leadership to a number of university organizations, so their loss will be felt campus wide. This is a very difficult day for the whole EWU community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families and friends of the victims."
Eastern says it has counselors and support available for students who need it. They also said a memorial service will be planned for the girls in the next few days.
Here is the entire letter Eastern Washington University released Friday afternoon:
Dear Campus Community:
It is with tremendous sadness that I report the passing of two Eastern Washington University students after a traffic accident early this morning on US Highway 195 near Colfax.
According to the Washington State Patrol, two other students were also in the vehicle, and one is in critical condition at a Spokane hospital while the other was taken to a hospital in Pullman and has been released.
All four involved in the crash were female students who are participating in the Chicano Education Program and other student programs on campus. They have provided leadership to a number of university organizations, so their loss will be felt campus wide.
This is a very difficult day for the whole EWU community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families and friends of the victims.
It is also important at this time to remind you that anyone who may need special services in light of this tragedy may utilize the university's counseling support assistance, offered though our office of Counseling and Psychological Services.
Information about a campus memorial for the students will be forthcoming in the coming days.
Rodolfo Arévalo, PhD
NBCRightNow.com - Washington State Patrol is investigating after an accident killed two women early Friday morning.
The accident happened around 4:45 a.m. just south of Colfax along State Route 195. Troopers say Ashley Gonzalez, 21, of Pasco and Nancy Zepeda Zarate 21, of Quincy were both killed when the car they were riding in veered sideways into oncoming traffic and was hit by a semi. They were not wearing seatbelts.
Another passenger, 22-year-old Carmen Gomez Villalpando of Walla Walla, was taken to Whitman Hospital in Colfax with injuries. The 21-year-old driver, Erica Polito Moss of Tonasket, was transported by Medstar to Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane.
The driver of the semi-truck was not injured. The incident is under investigation.