Walla Walla man faces prison for head-on crash

RICHLAND — A Walla Walla man who passed vehicles on a no-pass zone and crashed head-on into another car is facing penalties that could be as severe as a life sentence.

The Tri-City Herald reported that Henry Lee Thacker, 39, has been charged with two counts each of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. Vehicular homicide carries a penalty as high as a life sentence.

Investigators say that Thacker didn’t give himself enough time to pass other vehicles on Highway 12 near the Wallula Junction in October 2012. His decision to keep driving in the oncoming lane, even after entering a “no passing zone,” forced at least three cars onto the shoulder. One vehicle coming in from a blind right-hand curve, though, couldn’t avoid colliding with Thacker. Passengers in both vehicles died.

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