Serving Franklin County, WA

Six-vehicle pileup closes Blue Bridge

KENNEWICK — A six-vehicle pileup halted traffic across the Blue Bridge for several hours Thursday, July 30, leaving two people injured.

According to the Washington State Patrol, Virgil L. Loveland, 73, of Hermiston, Ore., and Candelario V. Acosta, 47, of Pasco, were transported to a local hospital. They drove the first and fifth vehicles involved in the crash.

The other drivers, Yesenia Contreras Ibarra, 27 of Pasco, Gerardo Gomez Sandoval, 35, of Pasco, Hudson G. Picker, 23, of Kennewick, and Kenneth J. Wargi, 40, of Coeur d’Alene, were not injured.

The 10:29 a.m. crash occurred on the Kennewick side of the bridge that connects the city to Pasco.

Loveland was southbound at Milepost 19 in the second of two lanes; Ibarra was southbound in the adjacent lane, the patrol said.

Loveland’s 2019 Toyota Tundra struck Ibarra’s 2005 Cadillac, then struck the concrete center barrier and ending up in the northbound lanes, the patrol said.

Ibarra’s passengers, Esmeralda Contreras, 17, Amirany Moran, 9 months, Hector Moran, 3, and Mellanie Moran, 4, all of Pasco, were not injured, the patrol said.

As the crash unfolded, barrier debris hit Sandoval’s northbound vehicle, a 2015 GMC Sierra pickup, the patrol said. Loveland’s Tundra then struck Picker’s 2020 Ford Econoline and Acosta’s 2008 GMC Sierra.

Wargi’s 2020 Freightliner Cascadia truck struck Acasta’s pickup, the patrol said, noting all drivers and passengers were wearing seatbelts.

Picker’s passenger, Alexsei N. Sholotyuk, 21, of Pasco, was not injured, the patrol said.

There were not any passengers in the remaining vehicles.

Neither drugs nor alcohol were factors in the crash, the patrol said.

Loveland was cited for second-degree negligent driving.

The bridge remained closed for several hours while the crash was investigated and debris removed from the scene.


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