10-car crash on I-82 near Granger claims life of young man killed by his own car

Troopers say icy road conditions on the overpass contributed to the pileup

GRANGER, Wash. — Washington State Patrol troopers continue to investigate a 10-car collision near Granger that claimed the life of a 21-year-old man on Wednesday.

WSP Trooper David Munoz said the crash occurred about 6:18 a.m. when a pickup truck lost control on the icy overpass headed eastbound on I-82 and crashed into the barrier, causing drivers behind the vehicle to rear-end each other.

“Some people were trying to get out of the way or stop in the lane, not knowing what’s up ahead,” Munoz said.

Munoz said the 21-year-old got out and ended up being struck by his own car when someone rear-ended him. Emergency responders began first aid, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“We’re still trying to piece together exactly where in the collision his vehicle came into play,” Munoz said. “We do know though that he was outside of his vehicle when his vehicle was struck and then struck him.”

Munoz said anyone who is involved in a collision and is spun out on the roadway should not get out of the car because they could be hit by another vehicle struggling to avoid another crash.

“Stay buckled up in your vehicle and we’ll get to you as safely and as fast as possible to secure the scene for everybody,” Munoz said.

Munoz said they believe the icy road conditions on the Granger overpass contributed to the crash and do not suspect any drugs or alcohol were involved.

“As for distracted driving, like I said, we’re still trying to investigate and we’re gonna do follow up with everyone involved,” Munoz said. “We have to get statements and go back and do the follow up and see if we can gather any information.”

Two other individuals involved in the pileup were taken to a local hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.  Munoz said one car was struck hard enough that it was pushed off the road and into the underpass.

Troopers shut down the eastbound lanes of I-82 from exit 58 to Granger to exit 63 to Sunnyside and Outlook. They started diverting eastbound travelers to Yakima Valley Highway starting at exit 54 to Zillah.  As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, the lanes were still closed.

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Munoz said with so many people and vehicles involved in the collision, they’re having a difficult time determining what exactly happened to cause each crash. He said by the time troopers arrived on the scene, everyone was out of their cars and moving around.

About an hour after troopers started dealing with the 10-car crash in the eastbound lanes, they witnessed two separate collisions on the corresponding overpass on I-82 westbound.

“We had a three-car collision that was caused by a vehicle spinning out on the ice,” Munoz said. “And shortly after that, another one-car collision — same thing. The vehicle lost control on the ice on the overpass and struck a barrier.”

No one was injured in the three-car crash — which happened about 7:15 a.m. — or the one-car crash that occurred less than 10 minutes later.

With thousands expected to travel on the Thanksgiving holiday, troopers are asking drivers to be extra cautious.

“The weather’s changing, so overpasses get icy, bridges get icy, all the roadways could get icy at any point — especially with fog and stuff rolling in,” Munoz said. “Take your time and slow down.”


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