Three killed in Richland car crash involving children

RICHLAND, Wash. -- Three people were killed in an overnight car crash in Richland.  Six people, four children and two adults  were in an SUV traveling westbound on I-182. They were getting on the Ii82 East ramp when their vehicle hit an arrow sign and rolled about seven times down a hill. 

Senior Trooper Bryan Ball says the family is from Sunnyside and they were leaving a birthday party in Pasco early morning.  Ball believes the crash happened between one and three in the morning.  32 year old Joel Barajas and 28 year old Bertha Barajas were not wearing their seat belts and were both ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene.  Another child, their nephew from Arizona whose name and age have not been released until his family is notified was also killed.  Trooper Ball says the child who died was only wearing a lap seat belt and moved the shoulder strap and that is why he was also partially ejected.

The other children, ages two, eight and ten have various injuries and are at Kadlec Medical Center.  Ball says they were in the car for hours until somebody spotted the ten year old boy crawling around on the road and help arrived.  Ball says Washington State Patrol found the car around seven Sunday morning.  He says the eight year old girl unstrapped the baby from the car seat and had it in her lap until help arrived.  She told troopers she has a broken leg.  Ball believes she was airlifted to Spokane with possible internal injuries.  All three of the surviving children were properly restrained.

Ball also believes the driver was texting or on the phone at the time of the crash and alcohol may have been involved.  Troopers found an open phone near the site.

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