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Richland man killed in head-on collision

An early-morning crash in north Franklin County left one man dead and sent another to a Seattle hospital with serious injuries.

Jim Morasch, director of the Tri-Cities Airport, was injured Tuesday when the driver of a Toyota pickup lost control on an icy road and slammed head-on into Morasch's 2006 Acura sedan, officials said.

Rafael Santiago-Cruz, 36, of Richland, died at the scene of the 6:30 a.m. crash on Taylor Flats Road about a mile north of Selph Landing Road.

Morasch, 68, of Pasco, was taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, then transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

He was listed in critical condition Tuesday evening, a nursing supervisor said.

Morasch, the airport director since 1980 and a board member of Kadlec Health System and Kadlec Regional Medical Center, reportedly suffered numerous broken bones, including both legs.

Santiago-Cruz is believed to have been on his way to work, but Washington State Patrol Lt. Roger Wilbur said troopers weren't yet sure where he worked.

Santiago-Cruz and Morasch were wearing seat belts.

Santiago-Cruz was driving north on Taylor Flats Road when he hit a patch of black ice on an irrigation canal overpass and lost control of his pickup, Wilbur said.

"He started fish-tailing and once (his car) got across the overpass, he hit the side of the pavement and hit (Morasch's) car head-on," Wilbur said.

Wilbur said the roads leading up to the collision scene weren't icy, but when he arrived about 45 minutes later, the overpass still was icy.

Temperatures were around freezing Tuesday morning.

"With the sun coming out and temperatures getting up a little during the daytime, it's easy for people to sometimes forget that in the mornings it still has a tendency to be at freezing or below," Wilbur said. "They need to be aware that they can still face some pretty slick conditions."

Prosser-area phone line to call deputies repaired

Problems with a nonemergency line from the Prosser area to Benton County Emergency Services have been fixed, officials said.

Benton County residents in the Prosser area can once again dial 786-2112 to contact sheriff's deputies through the non-emergency dispatch line, said spokeswoman Sara Schwartz.

The line went down for unknown reasons Friday and Prosser residents had to use an alternate number.

Calls to 911 or the non-emergency number to Prosser police were not affected.

Moses Lake woman run over by her own car

A Moses Lake woman was seriously injured when she was run over while trying to jump from her moving car, police said.

Moses Lake police officers contacted Jona R. Zeigler inside a vehicle on West Broadway, near Newtons Car Corner, and told her they had a warrant to arrest her for forgery, said Capt. Dave Ruffin.

Zeigler drove away and an officer followed, trying to stop her, he said.

While traveling on Lakeside Drive, Zeigler attempted to jump out of her moving vehicle and was run over, Ruffin said.

She was taken to Samaritan Hospital in Moses Lake, then flown to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane to be treated for internal injuries.

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