Yakima County, WA– The Washington State Patrol responded to a vehicle verses semi truck crash on Southbound State Route 97 near milepost 43, 18 miles South of Toppenish around 5:49 a.m. on August 31st, 2018.
According to a press memo from the Washington State Patrol, 54-year old Mario Gil-Hernandez of Sacramento, California was traveling Northbound on State Route 97 near milepost 43 in a white 2004 GMC Savana Van when his vehicle left the roadway. He over-corrected and crossed into the Southbound Lanes where his vehicle was struck by a green 2018 Kenworth Semi Truck and Trailer being driven by 52-year old J.G. Bustamente of Sunnyside, WA. Mr. Bustamente was injured in the crash and transported to Astria Sunnyside Hospital for treatment. Mr. Gil-Hernandez died at the scene. Passengers in the van, 56-year old Ralph Schantz of Roseville, CA and 28-year old Luis Ibarra of Cordova, CA both died at the scene. A third passenger in the van, 28-year old Fernando Esparza of Sacramento, CA was injured and transported to Virginia Mason Memorial Hospital where his condition remains unknown.
The van was impounded for safe keeping by Hooked Up Towing. The Semi-Truck was impounded by Highway Truck Towing.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Charges are not expected.