Semi driver was drunk when he caused a Kennewick crash, says WSP

A semi truck driver was allegedly drunk when he ran a red light on Highway 395 in Kennewick and plowed into a car Friday evening.

The Washington State Patrol said Valery V. Melnikov, 57, of Everett, was driving north on Highway 395 in a Volvo semi tractor pulling a trailer.

He didn’t stop at a red light at Hildebrand Boulevard at 5:49 p.m. and hit a Dodge Neon heading west,

The Neon’s driver, David M. Westhart, 49, of Kennewick, was listed in good condition Saturday at Trios Southridge Hospital.

Melinkov was booked into the Benton County jail on suspicion of vehicular assault and felony hit-and-run.

Cameron Probert covers breaking news and education for the Tri-City Herald, where he tries to answer readers’ questions about why police officers and firefighters are in your neighborhood. He studied communications at Washington State University.