Crime

5-car pileup snarls blue bridge commute

A driver nodded off and rolled a car after driving off the side of Highway 395 early Tuesday.
A driver nodded off and rolled a car after driving off the side of Highway 395 early Tuesday. Franklin County Sheriff's Office

A five-car pileup on the blue bridge Tuesday morning injuring one man and clogged the morning commute into Pasco.

Hours earlier a sleepy Richland driver crashed on Highway 395 north of Pasco, sending two people to the hospital.

The bridge collision happened shortly before 7 a.m. when Julio G. Hernandez Palma, 47, of Kennewick, lost control of his Toyota Corolla, said the Washington State Patrol.

His car bounced off the concrete barrier on the right side of the northbound lanes and crossed to the other side, where he hit the other barrier.

Four cars behind him then crashed into each other, blocking the northbound lanes.

Hernandez Palma was taken to Trios Southridge Hospital. No one else was hurt.

State troopers said he wasn’t paying attention and cited him for negligent driving.

Six hours earlier, Sandra L. Munguia, 42, flipped her car after falling asleep while driving south on Highway 395 north of Pasco.

Munguia nodded off behind the wheel of a Chevy Cavalier shortly before 1 a.m., said the WSP.

The car went off the road, rolled and landed on its top.

Munguia and her passenger Antonio C. Munguia, 56, of Richland, were treated at Lourdes Medical Center and later released. She was also also cited for negligent driving.

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.

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