One dead, one injured after I-90 fire causes 4-car crash - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

One dead, one injured after I-90 fire causes 4-car crash

Posted: Updated:


KITTITAS, WA - On Thursday at around 10:42 a.m., four vehicles traveling eastbound on I-90 were affected by nearby wildfire smoke and got into a four-car pileup. One person is dead.

All four vehicles were traveling eastbound on I-90 in one lane, just 10 miles east of Kittitas, when their vision was obscured by smoke from a wildfire just in the median.

The driver of the first car, 58-year-old Rubio Natividad and passenger 57-year-old Leticia Rubio slowed down in the lane for stopping traffic from smoke. 59-year-old Jerry Sanders' semi struck them from behind, and then a truck and trailer driven by 61-year-old Christie Merrick with passenger 93-year-old Grace Bronn struck the semi from behind. Merrick's vehicle jackknifed and was struck by a fourth vehicle. 

The first two vehicles came to rest on the right shoulder. Merrick's vehicle came to rest blocking both lanes, and the fourth vehicle drove to the rest area.

Merrick was injured and transported by aid to Kittitas Valley Healthcare. Bronn was transported by aid but was then declared deceased at the hospital. 

No one else was injured. Everyone was wearing seat belts. No drugs or alcohol was involved.

The cause of the accident was determined to be heavy smoke and poor visibility.


ELLENSBURG, WA (AP) - Authorities say one person has died and another was seriously injured in a crash on Interstate 90 near Ellensburg that happened after several vehicles and a semi-truck entered an area filled with wildfire smoke.
A brush fire started in the freeway median late Thursday morning.
Washington State Patrol Trooper Brian Moore says the crash, caused by low visibility due to smoke over the highway, involved the semi, a truck pulling a travel trailer, another truck and a car.
Moore says a passenger in the truck pulling the travel trailer died on the way to the hospital and the driver was in serious condition.
Moore says the fire's cause is unknown.
He says drivers should expect lane restrictions throughout the evening as the state patrol investigates.