Othello woman in car crash faces trial

An Othello woman faces a Sept. 5 trial for allegedly being under the influence of alcohol when she crashed her car last year, killing a passenger.

Alejandra Cardona, 26, pleaded innocent Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court to one count of vehicular homicide.

Cardona was the driver of a gray 2002 Ford Explorer that rolled over in a crash on Highway 395 about 10 miles north of Pasco last Sept. 25, court documents said.

Cardona was going north on the highway at 3:30 a.m. when she went off the road, overcorrected and caused the SUV to roll over, documents said. The vehicle then hit a light pole, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Her passenger, Aurora Del Pilar Bazan, was thrown from the vehicle. The 27-year-old Othello woman, who was not wearing a seat belt, died at the scene.

The state patrol identified the passenger as Pilar A. Bazan at the time of the crash.

Cardona also was hurt and was taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland. Washington State Patrol Trooper Mark Hirz went to the hospital to talk to Cardona and detected an obvious odor of intoxicants, documents said.

Cardona's blood was drawn at the hospital about 2 1/2 hours after the wreck. Test results from the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab showed Cardona's blood-alcohol level was 0.078 percent at the time of the blood draw, documents said. The legal limit in Washington is 0.08 percent.

Cardona was charged in May and was arrested during the weekend and extradited to Franklin County. She is being held in the Franklin County jail on $25,000 bail.