2 Othello men killed in crash; Cle Elum man survives

Police say victims' SUV pulled out in front of a flatbed truck on Thursday in Grant County

ROYAL CITY, Wash. – A crash in Grant County on Thursday claimed the lives of two men from Othello, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies say the men were in an SUV that drove out in front of a flatbed truck. The impact sent the SUV into a canal.

The crash happened shortly before 2:30 p.m. at Road E SW and Road 11 SW, about one mile north of Royal City. The sheriff’s office released new information from their investigation:

Perfecto Rojas Mejia, 45, was driving a 2004 Nissan Murano south on Road E-Southwest when he stopped at the stop sign at Road 11-Southwest. Mejia then pulled into the path of a westbound 2006 Freightliner flatbed driven by 57-year-old James Howard Smith of Cle Elum. The collision caused the Nissan to leave the roadway and roll onto its driver’s side in an irrigation canal.

First responders say Mejia died at the scene. An air ambulance took Mejia’s passenger, 58-year-old Romeo Velasquez Diaz, to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, where he also died. Smith was not injured, deputies say.

Royal Slope Fire assisted, just a few days after responding to another tragedy: a person who fell off of the Beverly Railroad Bridge Rehabilitation Project over the Columbia River.

RELATED: Worker fell off Beverly Railroad Bridge, died from injuries

The Grant County Sheriff’s Motor Traffic Unit is investigating the crash.


THURSDAY: 3 Harrah farmworkers dead, four injured in gruesome car accident
FRIDAY: One dead, one seriously injured in collision in Walla Walla County