Police: Driver at fault in fatal Winco crash

Herald staff writerMarch 12, 2013 

Police say an investigation into a crash that killed a Kennewick pedestrian near the Winco parking lot in December revealed the driver who struck him was at fault.

David Paul Ratliff, 60, was killed when a truck driven by Elmer Leroy Simmons, 85, of Pasco, hit him as he walked through a parking lot Dec. 12. Simmons lost control of the vehicle when he struck Ratliff and investigators found no mechanical defects in the truck, police said.

Kennewick police said Simmons will be cited for second-degree negligent driving.

Simmons told police the accelerator on his truck got stuck, causing him to lose control. Police said alcohol and drugs were not a factor in the collision.

Ratliff had just gotten off a Ben Franklin Transit bus before he was hit. He had lived in the Tri-Cities area for 36 years and was a retired nuclear process operator at Hanford.

The investigation was reviewed by the Benton County Prosecutor's Office and the Kennewick City Attorney.

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