At least five accidents were reported around the Yakima Valley on Wednesday and Thursday, none of them weather-related but several causing injuries that required hospitalization, and one in which a horse died.
A Toppenish woman was in critical condition following a two-vehicle crash about 3 a.m. Thursday on U.S. Highway 97 outside of town, officials said.
Samantha Lee Heemsah, 32, was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle following the collision with a 2004 Chevrolet Impala and a semi tractor-trailer combination.
Heemsah was a passenger in the Impala, which ran a stop sign while eastbound on Jensen Road and was struck by the northbound big rig on the highway, the Washington State Patrol reported.
The Impala’s driver, Lynn R. Johnson, 37, of White Swan was in satisfactory condition at Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center, a hospital spokeswoman said.
One of the other passengers — Michael T. Irving, 28, of Toppenish — was treated at Regional and released. A third passenger — Keith D. Heemsah Jr., 33, of Toppenish — was not hurt, troopers said. Keith Heemsah and Irving were not wearing seat belts, authorities said.
The truck driver — George P. Williams, 62, of Sandy, Ore. — was not hurt, according to a patrol news release.
A section of Highway 97 where the accident occurred remained blocked until 7:20 a.m. Authorities said it’s not clear whether alcohol or drugs were involved, and charges are pending, the release said.
In White Swan, an elderly motorist escaped injury in a collision with a horse Wednesday night on Fort Road. The horse died. The Yakima County sheriff’s log shows the crash happened at 10:50 p.m. at Fort and Stephenson roads.
Elsewhere, the sheriff’s office on Wednesday said there were two noninjury hit-and-runs, one on Interstate 82 at the East Selah exit and the other on State Route 22 at Larue Road near Toppenish.
There was also report of a car striking a pedestrian on U.S. Highway 12 in Naches. The pedestrian suffered an arm injury, according to the sheriff’s log.
The sheriff’s office also took three reports of cows or horses in the roadway on Wednesday, including one incident involving 13 stray cows on Dekker Road near Outlook.
Finally, a 49-year-old Sunnyside man was hospitalized Wednesday after he fell asleep at the wheel, crossed the center line and struck a semitrailer, according to the Washington State Patrol.
About 12:50 p.m., Michael T. Adams was driving a 1993 Jeep Cherokee east on Yakima Valley Highway near Outlook Road when he crossed the center line of the road and struck the rear tire of a westbound 2013 Peterbilt semitrailer driven by Ismael Guizar, 45, of Sunnyside, according to a State Patrol news release.
Guizar was not injured, but Adams was taken to Sunnyside Community Hospital. Adams fell asleep at the wheel, the release said.