Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityState Patrol responds to fatal crash on SR 14 | KEPR
Close Alert

Truck drivers calling SR 14 deadliest asphalt in Eastern Washington, after fatal crash

fatal ax
fatal ax
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon
Comment bubble

BENTON COUNTY, Wash. -- Around 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Washington State Patrol responded to a collision on SR 14 between Paterson and Interstate 82. A van and a semi-truck crashed, killing two people in the car and sending both drivers to the hospital.

Ramiro Valdez-Galvez and Pedro Santiago-Menchu died on scene, according to WSP. Paramedics rushed Alfredo Perez to the hospital. Troopers said the truck driver, Abel Garcia was not injured.

The van tried to pass another car and struck the semi head on, according to the WSP report.

"Conditions were horrible this morning, freezing fog, icy roadways and low visibility," Trooper Chris Thorson said.

Truck drivers at the scene said they take this route often and some of them call SR 14 the deadliest asphalt in Eastern Washington. They preferred to remain off camera.

“This morning it was 9 degrees, the fog was freezing, the roads were slick," said longtime truck driver Doug Darcey. He was one of the first to drive up on the collision.

Darcey said SR 14 is dangerous enough with only two lanes, but mix that with bad weather and he said anything can happen.

“Every day coming out here, it’s been black ice, freezing rain, it’s been snow, it’s been wrecks,” he said.

Darcy said countless times he's seen people take risks trying to pass cars and semi-trucks on this highway.

“Everybody's got to get somewhere faster than the other guy, and they take chances they shouldn't take,” he said. “And this kind of stuff is what happens.”

Troopers advise that in dense fog drivers should slow down, and put on their hazards and head lights (but do not use your brights).

“If you've got visibility of 10 or 20 feet, the last thing you want to do on these two lane interstates or highways is pass a vehicle because you can't see vehicles coming toward you in the other direction.”

And Darcy cautions drivers who have to take this route to drive safe

"There's nothing that you have to do that's worth that right there," he said, as he pointed to the crash.

Trooper Thorson said at this time they have no witnesses of the crash, making their investigation difficult.

Washington State Patrol is asking for any witnesses of today's crash to please contact the patrol office in the Tri-Cities 509-734-7034.

ORIGINAL: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

State Patrol Trooper Chris Thorson confirms two people are dead after the semi vs. car crash on SR 14 around 6 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Washington State Patrol (WSP) said the two-vehicle collision left two people dead, one injured.

Troopers report Alfredo Perez, 48, of Umatilla was driving a 2000 Chrysler Minivan westbound on State Route 14 when he attempted to pass another vehicle going westbound and struck a semi tractor trailer going eastbound.

Ramiro Valdez-Galvez and Pedro Santiago-Menchu were passengers in the minivan according to troopers. Valdez-Galvez, 29, of Umatilla and Santiago-Menchu, 37, of Hermiston died at the scene.

Police said Perez was injured and transported to Kadlec Medical Center. The minivan was totaled and impounded.

The semi driver, Abel Garcia, 37, of Toppenish was not injured and the truck was totaled and impounded according to WSP reports.

Authorities are investigating the cause of this incident.


Crews on scene tell Action News it will be at least four hours before work to clear vehicles involved is completed.

SR 14 is closed in both directions from milepost 167 Patterson to milepost 178 near Plymouth.

Comment bubble

We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

Loading ...