A Pasco man who celebrated his 20th birthday Monday was critically injured when he ran across Highway 240 in Richland on Tuesday and was hit by a car.
Adalberto A. Barragan was running from Richland police when he climbed over a fence to get onto the highway just west of the Columbia Center Boulevard exit and crossed the three eastbound lanes, said Washington State Patrol Trooper Chris Thorson.
Barragan made it halfway across the westbound lanes before he was struck by a Toyota sedan just before 5 a.m.
The force of the impact sent Barragan through the windshield of the car, driven by Colton Jones, 19, of Pasco. Jones works for the Tri-City Herald's circulation department as a field service representative.
Barragan was taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, then flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, said WSP Sgt. Brian Mihelich.
He was in critical condition in the intensive care unit, a hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday evening.
Jones was treated at Kennewick General Hospital. He was recovering at home Tuesday from minor scrapes, sore muscles and a headache.
"It was pitch black and raining," Mihelich said, indicating that Barragan likely would not have been visible as he ran across the highway.
Troopers and state Department of Transportation workers closed down several lanes of the highway while they investigated, but traffic was able to get through the area in the left lane.
Investigators determined Barragan ran when Richland police tried to contact him near the Circle K convenience store on Tapteal Drive and Columbia Center Boulevard.
Barragan was in a silver Honda Civic that was missing its front left tire, Trooper Thorson said.
Barragan was driving on the rim, causing sparks to shoot out from his car and gouging the road, he said.
When Richland officers stopped him, Barragan took off running, Thorson said. He went through an empty irrigation canal before climbing the fence and getting onto the highway.
It wasn't clear yet whether Barragan hit something, causing the tire to come off, or had a flat but continued to drive on it.
-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org