Wapato man ejected from vehicle, killed in HWY 97 crash

WAPATO, Wash. - A 23-year-old man was killed in a two vehicle crash outside of Wapato early Friday morning.

Julio Gonzalez was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

He was driving north on Highway 97 before taking a left turn onto Jones Road. 

A southbound 2002 GMC Sierra pickup struck his 1995 Jeep Cherokee in the middle of the intersection. Gonzalez was ejected from the vehicle. Troopers said he was not wearing a seatbelt. 

He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The pickup driver’s passenger Steven Saunders, 48, was injured and transported to Virginia Mason Memorial Hospital.

Washington State Patrol cited failure to yield as the cause.  

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