Yakima police blame a high-speed street race late Thursday morning for a collision that ended in shattered glass and twisted metal when one of the vehicles slammed into a car carrying a young woman and her 4-year-old son.
The woman was pulling out of a Burger King parking lot in the 2700 block of West Nob Hill Boulevard when a westbound Jeep Grand Cherokee slammed into her car, crushing in the driver’s side of the Toyota Corolla and spinning it across the street.
Police said the 26-year-old woman suffered severe internal injuries. Her son, who was riding in a recently purchased car seat in the center of the backseat, suffered superficial glass cuts. Authorities did not identify either the mother or son.
Police said a white two-door Acura racing the Jeep did not stop after the crash.
“I heard a big pop and saw this little sedan, airborne in the center lane,” said Casey Thaxton, who was driving to work when the crash occurred about 11:15 a.m. Thursday.
Thaxton rushed to the car to help.
Both the boy and the woman appeared to have been badly injured, he said.
“I thought that baby was dead,” said Thaxton, 35, who has four children of his own.
The boy was unresponsive for a few minutes, but then opened his eyes and started to cry, he said.
He was riding in a very rugged car seat that was secured in the middle of the back seat, he added.
Yakima firefighters had to cut the driver’s door off to free the woman, who, along with the boy, was taken by ambulance to Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.
The woman suffered significant injuries and remained hospitalized Thursday evening, Yakima police Sgt. Jay Seely said.
Police identified the Jeep’s driver as 23-year-old Everado Jaime Nava. He was arrested at the scene. He was checked out at Yakima Regional and Cardiac Center and appeared to suffer no serious injuries, Seely said.
Nava told officers he was going 65 mph, Seely said.
Using a cellphone photo taken by a 6-year-old boy, police tracked the Acura to Jose Badillo, 18, who they said gave them a statement.
Yakima police said they expect both drivers to be charged with two counts of vehicular assault.
Police investigators will conduct their own estimate of the speed based on evidence collected from the scene, which was littered by car parts and broken glass.
Beside the Toyota’s crushed-in driver’s side, a child’s blue vest and a bright red, plastic toy building block lay in the street amid the debris.