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Two separate car accidents occur within an hour Thursday in Lower Valley

Six Lower Yakima Valley residents were hospitalized yesterday afternoon as the result of two separate car accidents.

The first accident Thursday occurred at 3 p.m. at the intersection of SR-241 and Green Valley Road, approximately three miles north of Mabton. The second mishap happened at 3:55 p.m., about two miles west of Zillah at Elmore and Palen roads.

In the earlier of the two crashes, the Washington State Patrol reports that Elijah N. Gallaway, 86, of Grandview drove his 2006 Chrysler sedan through a stop sign on Green Valley Road, at the SR-241 intersection. Gallaway's car was struck broadside by a 1987 Honda Accord, headed southbound on SR-241. The collision resulted in the Chrysler rolling, coming to rest on its top.

Gallaway, said WSP troopers, refused medical treatment. Charges of failing to stop at a stop sign are pending against the Grandview man.

Both, the driver of the '87 Honda Accord, Yvette DeLaFuente, 27, of Mabton and a passenger in her vehicle, 15-year-old Sabrina Escobar of Sunnyside, were transported by ambulance to Sunnyside Community Hospital.

The two vehicles involved in that crash were totaled.

In the Zillah area accident only one vehicle was involved. State troopers report that a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier, driven by 17-year-old Maria E. Torres of Sunnyside, was westbound on gravel-paved Elmore Road at about 3:55 p.m. Thursday. Torres was reportedly driving at a high rate of speed and lost control of the car. The vehicle swerved off the gravel roadway near Palen Road and struck a telephone pole and a fence.

The WSP said charges of reckless driving will be filed against Torres.

Injured in the accident were Torres and three passengers in her car. She, along with 14-year-old Gardenia Rodriguez, 15-year-old Amparo Torres and 19-year-old Yolanda Valencia, all of Sunnyside, were sent to Yakima Regional Hospital by ambulance.

State troopers said the Chevy Cavalier was totaled.

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