Richland car crash victim's arm reattached

Geoff Folsom & Ty Beaver, Herald staff writersAugust 24, 2013 

Surgeons have reattached a West Richland woman's arm after she was seriously injured in a Thursday car crash, her son told the Herald.

Diana L. Vargas, 50, was taken to a Seattle hospital after the Dodge Durango she was driving hit a median on Interstate 182 near the George Washington Way exit in Richland. The SUV rolled after the crash.

"They're saying they hope she'll have full use of her fingers," said Vargas' son, Jason Vargas, 19.

Jason Vargas said his mother, who is stable and in a medicated coma, will have another surgery Monday to take muscle from her back and side to further repair the arm. Doctors also found more injuries as they continue to examine his mother, including a punctured lung, broken ribs and broken vertebrae in her neck and back.

Daniel Church -- Diana Vargas' 15-year-old son -- and his friend Dylan, also 15, were also injured, said Jason Vargas, who was not involved in the crash.

Jason Vargas did not know Dylan's last name and the Washington State Patrol has not released it.

Both boys were taken to Tri-City hospitals. Jason Vargas said Church had minor injuries, but Dylan suffered more serious injuries.

Diana Vargas underwent surgeries Thursday and Friday at Harborview Medical Center, with each lasting more than four hours, Jason Vargas said. Doctors have told him she appears to be improving slightly each day.

Family members are trying to put money together so they can visit Diana Vargas in the hospital by the time she regains consciousness, Jason Vargas said. With the SUV totaled, they need to make repairs to their other vehicle because of fears it could break down on the trip.

"It would be a lot easier for her to wake up with someone there," Jason Vargas said.

Diana Vargas' Chihuahua, Diamond, was killed in the accident, her son said.

Another Chihuahua was thrown from the window of the SUV, but survived. The family was not sure what caused the accident.

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