Van erupts in flames after crash

Sunnyside Mabton Road closed while fire, law enforcement investigate

A Sunnyside fireman checks a 2005 Chevrolet Venture for hot spots following a crash and fire Tuesday afternoon on Sunnyside Mabton Highway, about two miles south of the city.

Photo by Roger Harnack
A Sunnyside fireman checks a 2005 Chevrolet Venture for hot spots following a crash and fire Tuesday afternoon on Sunnyside Mabton Highway, about two miles south of the city.



— A van erupted in flames Tuesday afternoon following a three-vehicle crash on Sunnyside Mabton Road.

The road, also known as state Highway 241, was closed for more than an hours while fire crews put out the fire and the incident was cleaned up.

Brito Chelsea Tillian, 33, of Grandview, suffered minor injuries in the crash and was transported to Sunnyside Astria Hospital, the Washington State Patrol reported.

According to the patrol, the crash occurred at 4:35 p.m. about 2 miles south of the city.

Tillian was southbound on the highway in a 2005 Chevrolet Venture, the third vehicle in a line of traffic.

The driver of the first vehicle, Manuel Sanzhez-Diaz, 16, of Outlook stopped to make a left turn in his 2003 Nissan Altima, the patrol reported.

Right behind him, Brenda JoEllen Stowell, 53, of Priest River, Idaho, slowed her 2013 Toyota Camry.

But Tillian’s Venture slammed into the rear of the Camry, which then impacted the Altima, the patrol said.

Neither Tillian nor Stowell was injured in the crash, the patrol said. But their vehicles had to be towed from the crash scene.

The impact caused the Venture to burst into flames, the patrol said.

All of the drivers were wearing seatbelts. And neither alcohol nor drugs were factors in the crash.

The patrol said the cause of the crash was inattention and Tillian was cited for second-degree negligent driving.



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