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Toddler dies in two-car accident

A Sunnyside toddler, who according to Washington State Patrol troopers wasn't restrained by a seatbelt, died yesterday afternoon just outside the city limits at the scene of a two-vehicle accident.

Sunday's mishap, which claimed the life of 3-year-old Sophia Rivera, happened at about 4 p.m. at the intersection of Outlook and Maple Grove roads. The youngster was a passenger in a 1996 Nissan Sentra driven by Nicole M. Estrada, 18, of Sunnyside.

According to the WSP, Estrada was northbound on Maple Grove Road and failed to stop at the stop sign at the Outlook Road intersection. A 1990 Dodge pick-up that was westbound on Outlook Road, driven by Jacob W. Smith, 26, of Yakima, struck the Nissan on the passenger side of the vehicle. The collision at the intersection ejected the three-year-old from the four-door sedan. She died at the scene.

Smith escaped serious injury. His pick-up was totaled.

The 18-year-old Estrada, who was wearing a safety restraint, sustained injuries and was taken to Kadlec Medical Center in Richland. The WSP is investigating whether or not the teen will be charged with a crime.

There was another passenger in Estrada's '96 Nissan, 17-year-old Amanda L. Munoz of Sunnyside. She was wearing a seatbelt and avoided serious injury.

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