Yakima County

FILE — The Yakima County Courthouse, Nov. 3, 2016.

Prosecutors have charged a 51-year-old Yakima man with vehicular homicide in connection with a fatal crash Nov. 7.

Geronimo Perez III also was charged with reckless driving in Yakima County Superior Court on Wednesday in connection with the death of Francisco Banda-Caso near Grandview, according to court documents.

Perez, according to a probable cause affidavit filed by Yakima County sheriff’s deputies, was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee west on Yakima Valley Highway at Tear Road around 4:40 p.m. when he passed another vehicle on the shoulder at a high rate of speed, striking the passenger side of that vehicle.

He then crossed the road and hit the driver’s side of a Chevrolet Cruze, which was being driven by Banda-Caso, the affidavit said. Banda-Caso, a 28-year-old Sunnyside resident, was pronounced dead at the scene, the affidavit said.

Deputies said Perez appeared to have driven more than the posted 55 mph speed limit. A Washington State Patrol drug recognition expert reported that Perez failed field sobriety tests and said Perez appeared to be on drugs, the affidavit said.

According to court documents, Perez has two prior DUI and drug convictions. He is being held in the Yakima County jail in lieu of $200,000 and is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 22.

Reach Donald W. Meyers at dmeyers@yakimaherald.com or on Twitter: donaldwmeyers, or https://www.facebook.com/donaldwmeyersjournalist.

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