PASCO - A Sunnyside semi-truck driver, 32-year-old Jeffrey T. Still, escaped injury yesterday afternoon in a collision that resulted in the fiery death of an Othello potato truck driver.
Monday's fatal accident occurred on SR-395 near Pasco, at about 2:15 p.m. The Othello man who perished in the two-vehicle crash was identified as Jose De la Rosa, 35. Washington State Patrol troopers said he died at the scene.
According to the WSP, Still was northbound on SR-395, in the right lane, in a 1996 Kenworth tractor that had two trailers attached. State troopers report that De la Rosa, driving a 1994 White potato truck, was northbound in the left lane and attempted to pass the Kenworth. The WSP said the potato truck had an equipment or tire malfunction, which apparently caused the vehicle to veer into the right lane, striking Still's semi-truck.
At that point, according to troopers, De la Rosa lost control of his truck. The Othello man's vehicle rolled and caught fire, killing him in the process.
The potato truck was totalled, while Still's Kenworth tractor and trailer unit sustained approximately $2,000 damage.
Both northbound lanes on SR-395 were closed to motorists for six hours, which required rerouting traffic until nearly 8:30 p.m. last night.