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Cause of fatal W. Richland accident unclear

WEST RICHLAND -- One woman died and two others were injured in a car crash Sunday morning in West Richland.

Brett and Lacey Young were eastbound on Keene Road when their vehicle struck a white Pontiac Grand Am, driven by Connie J. Walser, 65, of West Richland, at the corner of South Highland Boulevard and Keene Road, police said.

Judge Joe Burrowes, of Benton County District Court, was out for a run that morning and had just passed the intersection moments before the collision occurred.

Though Burrowes did not actually hear the crash, he heard sirens and turned to see ambulances, fire trucks and patrol cars pulling up to the scene. He then raced back to the crash site to see if he could help.

"They were there pretty fast," Burrowes told the Herald. "The response time for West Richland, Richland and Benton County were all fast because I had just missed it by minutes.

Washington State Patrol troopers also arrived quickly and closed off the road, he added.

The intersection is about a half-mile west of the Bombing Range roundabout. Burrowes, who lives two blocks from Keene and South Highlands, said that intersection "has a lot of traffic."

West Richland police Officer Jared Kelly said Walser allegedly failed to yield at the intersection. She was pronounced dead at the scene, he said.

The Youngs were transported to Kadlec Medical Center in Richland, where they were treated and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.

"It's an unfortunate event, kind of scary, and it's kind of tragic to have that happen in your neighborhood," Burrowes said. "It makes you think and wonder, in a short amount of time things can change really quickly. Three families have been affected."

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