A 32-year-old Wapato man is expected to appear in Yakima County Superior Court Thursday afternoon in connection with a fatal drunken-driving crash Wednesday night.
Washington State Patrol troopers were called around 8:50 p.m. for a two-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 97 three miles south of Wapato. Troopers found a 2014 Chevrolet Malibu and a 2005 Chevrolet Classic, both on their tops, according to a State Patrol probable cause affidavit.
Troopers say the Malibu’s driver, Jose Rafael Pacheco, was driving north when he struck the rear of the Classic, causing both vehicles to roll over, the affidavit said.
The Classic’s driver, 60-year-old Denise R. Yallup of Toppenish, was pronounced dead at the scene, the affidavit said.
Troopers said Pacheco failed a field sobriety test at the scene, had an odor of intoxicants on his breath, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. He was taken to Virginia Mason Memorial hospital for his injuries and a blood sample before being booked into the Yakima County jail on suspicion of vehicular homicide while under the influence, not having a required ignition interlock device and driving with a suspended or revoked license.
Pacheco has a prior DUI conviction from 2015 in Sunnyside Municipal Court, according to court records, and was going through a deferred prosecution on a 2016 drunken driving case in Sunnyside.
This story will be updated.