Driver on phone moments before crash that killed three

  • Sun Oct 31st, 2010 9:50pm
  • News

Associated Press

RICHLAND — The Washington State Patrol said a driver was on the phone moments before his SUV rolled on I-182 in Richland, killing him, his wife and their 8-year-old nephew.

Senior Trooper Bryan Ball said the Sunnyside couple’s three children were also in the SUV. An 8-year-old girl and 10-year-old boy had various injuries and were taken to area hospitals, but a 2-year-old boy was unhurt.

The family was leaving a birthday party in Pasco early Sunday when the SUV swerved off the road and rolled seven times. Troopers found the vehicle around 7 a.m.

KNDU-TV reported 32-year-old Joel Barajas and 28-year-old Bertha Barajas died at the scene. Cristian Valdez was also killed.

Ball said after the crash the 8-year-old girl unstrapped the toddler from the carseat and was comforting the boy until help arrived.

Ball said alcohol may have been involved.