Sunnyside man dies in crash with semi hauling 80-foot trailer

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. – A Sunnyside man was killed in a foggy morning crash that shut down S.R. 241 on Wednesday.

Jesus Cohetzaltitla, 24, was driving northbound on the two-lane highway just north of Sunnyside around 6 a.m. as a semi hauling an 80-foot trailer made a wide turn from a private road onto the southbound lane of the highway, says the Washington State Patrol.

The trailer was diagonal across the narrow highway when Cohetzaltitla struck it in a 1993 Nissan pickup. A northbound SUV subsequently hit the victim’s pickup from behind.

Cohetzaltitla was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the SUV, 62-year-old Randall Adkins of Prosser, was injured and transported to Prosser Memorial Hospital.

“It was foggy. 100 feet, 200 feet of visibility at the most,” said WSP Sgt. David Wilbur. “Really hard to see because of the darkness and the fog, and the steel trusses [the semi] was hauling are black, the trailer is black and there wasn’t a lot of mid-length lighting on the trailer.”

Sgt. Wilbur said it’s likely that Cohetzaltitla did not see the trailer until the last moment before impact.

The semi-driver, 34-year-old Rafael Verduzco of Sunnyside, may face charges one an investigation is complete.

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