Driver may face charges in crash near Colfax that killed 2

By the Tri-City HeraldMarch 7, 2014 

The Washington State Patrol is investigating an Eastern Washington University student for killing two of her passengers -- including a Pasco woman -- in a suspected drunken-driving crash two weeks ago near Colfax, according to The Spokesman-Review.

Investigation records said Erica Polito Mosso, 21, drank a cocktail with up to 2.5 shots of liquor at a Pullman bar in the early morning hours of Feb. 21.

After a couple of hours of sleep, she attempted to drive back to Cheney with three other young women -- all in the Chicano Education Program at EWU.

Her blood-alcohol content registered a 0.081, which is above the legal threshold to drive.

At 4:45 a.m., her 1999 Volkswagen Jetta slid on what investigators said may have been black ice on state Highway 195 outside of Colfax. The car collided with a semi-truck pulling two trailers.

Passengers Ashley Marie Gonzales, 21, of Pasco, and Nancy Zepeda Zarate, 21, of Quincy, were killed at the scene. Mosso and another passenger, Carmen Gomez Villalpando, 22, of Walla Walla, survived.

Gomez Villalpando told an investigator she did not believe Polito Mosso was drunk.

The fatal wreck traumatized many at the university. The girls were the daughters of migrant workers and among the first generation in their families to attend college, the university said in the aftermath of the accident.

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