YAKIMA, Wash. — The motorist involved in a collision Saturday with a motorcycle in the Yakima River Canyon, hospitalizing two, was a Kittitas County sheriff’s deputy, the State Patrol confirmed Monday.
That detail was previously omitted from a crash memo by the State Patrol, which is investigating the circumstances of the collision Saturday afternoon on State Route 821, about 6 1/2 miles north of Selah.
Trooper Darren Wright, a spokesman for the State Patrol in Ellensburg, said the collision occurred when a group of four motorcycles heading south began passing a marked Kittitas County sheriff’s patrol car.
According to Wright, sheriff’s Deputy Mark Rickey had just been passed by the third motorcycle when he tried to execute a U-turn near the Yakima County line and was struck from behind by the last bike, a 2003 Yamaha Road Star cruiser.
The driver of the Yamaha, 24-year-old Donald Sadler, and passenger, Mahannah Sadler, 25, both of Selah, were injured in the collision and taken to Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center for treatment.
A medical update on the pair was not available. They requested that Regional not release any medical information, hospital staff said.
Rickey, 43, was not injured.
Wright, the State Patrol spokesman, said information about the crash was reported on a standardized crash memo and that there was no deliberate attempt to omit the deputy’s involvement in the crash. The memo included the deputy’s name and the vehicle he was driving, a Ford Crown Victoria model used almost exclusively by law enforcement agencies.
As for the circumstances of the crash itself, Wright said the collision is under investigation by State Patrol accident reconstruction experts. No citations have been issued to date.
He declined to elaborate on the scenario — a group of motorcycles passing a deputy on a rural two-lane highway, and the deputy then pulling a U-turn to go the opposite way.
“We don’t know why those things were occurring,” he said.
Lupe Lopez, a member of the group the Sadlers were riding with, said the riders all belonged to Combat Veterans United and were heading to the Yakima area after lunch in Ellensburg. Three of the four bikes had married couples, including the Sadlers.
Noting the State Patrol investigation is ongoing, Lopez declined to discuss the collision in detail except to say the group was not speeding.
He did say the Sadlers suffered several fractures but are expected to recover.