Potato truck hits Ben Franklin Transit bus on US 395 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Potato truck hits Ben Franklin Transit bus on US 395

Posted: Updated:

9-22-17 UPDATE:

KENNEWICK, WA - The driver of the potato truck and the company he works for have been cited for the following violations: 

  • Failing to use seat belt while operating CMV
  • State vehicle registration or License Plate violation: expired tonnage 10-16-2016
  • BRAKES OUT OF SERVICE: The number of defective brakes is equal to or greater than 20 percent of the service brakes on the vehicle or combination
  • State vehicle registration or License Plate violation: LICENSE EXPIRED ON 09-10-2017

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9-20-17 UPDATE:

KENNEWICK, WA - We have new information tonight on the potato truck that crashed into a Ben Franklin Transit bus yesterday afternoon.

Washington State Patrol is still investigating the crash. The 15-year-old boy who was in critical condition at Trios Health last night, is now in stable condition. His mom sent us a message saying he ruptured his spleen, has a broken pelvis and a concussion. The other three passengers and the driver have all been released from the hospital today. As for the cause of the accident, Trooper Chris Thorson with WSP says the brakes on three of the four axles on the A&J potato truck were defective.

The truck was heading into Kennewick from I-82 right before the intersection of 395 and Hildebrand around 3:00 yesterday. When the driver went to hit the brakes, he realized they weren't working. Then he t-boned the Ben Franklin Transit Bus crossing that intersection going about 50 miles per hour.

Thorson says decisions on infractions or charges will be made by the end of the week. A potential charge could be driving a commercial vehicle with defective equipment. They're also looking to see if there were any other equipment violations on the truck.

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9-19-17 ORIGINAL STORY:

KENNEWICK, WA - A potato truck hit a Ben Franklin Transit bus just after 3 p.m. on September 19, sending multiple people to the hospital and closing a major road.

It has been determined that the brakes on the truck failed, causing it to crash into the bus. Multiple people were injured and taken to Trios and Kadlec for treatment.

Witnesses we spoke with say people sprang into action to help the injured.

"We got out of our car, which is right over there, to see if anybody needed help," said Jerron Linck, a witness. "My brother ran over there and there was a man on the ground, and he was trying to keep him awake because he was complaining of his head hurting and his neck hurting."

Parts of 395 were closed for hours because in addition to police trying to investigate the crash, the truck's load of potatoes had spilled all over the road.

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