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Fatal West Richland wreck still under investigation

What caused a car to cross the center line and crash head-on into two motorcyclists on Saturday still is under investigation, officials said.

Speed may be a factor in the fatal crash on Kennedy Road just west of Bombing Range Road, West Richland Police Chief Brian McElroy said. Alcohol or drugs are not suspected, he said.

The driver of the car was identified Monday as Christopher Berry. His age and city of residence were not immediately available from police records.

Berry was driving east on Kennedy Road when he crossed into the path of the motorcycles that were going west on Kennedy Road, McElroy said.

Joel Vance, 52, who goes by Joe, was thrown from his bike and hit the car, McElory said. Vance was taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, then transferred to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, where he later died.

Vance's wife, Lorri, 51, also was thrown from her motorcycle and taken to Kadlec, where she was treated and later released.

An autopsy was being performed on Joe Vance on Monday in Spokane, with a West Richland police detective present, McElroy said.

Berry and his passengers, a second adult and a child, also were taken to Kadlec but were not admitted, McElroy said.

West Richland police will be seeking help from either the Benton County Sheriff's Office or Washington State Patrol later this week to help determine speed and other factors in the collision.

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