Yakima PD: 19-year-old driver dies after crashing into airport control tower
All flights on pause at Yakima airport until power company can repair damage
UPDATE, 4:45 p.m. — The 19-year-old driver accused of crashing his car into the Yakima Airport control tower has died, according to a Facebook post from the Yakima Police Department.
UPDATE, 9:30 a.m. — Authorities report a 19-year-old man accused of crashing his car into the power boxes and control tower Friday morning at the Yakima Airport has been transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with critical injuries.
“If the driver survives, he could potentially be facing vehicular assault charges,” Stephens said.
Stephens said they believe the driver was intoxicated and the possible vehicular assault charge stems from the serious injuries suffered by the 23-year-old Yakima man who was a passenger in the vehicle when it crashed.
“Speed and alcohol are a very, very dangerous combination and they can have tragic consequences,” Stephens said.
The incident began just after 3 a.m., when a Yakima County sheriff’s deputy reportedly noticed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed eastbound on Washington Avenue.
“The deputy turned on the vehicle and was attempting to overtake it, but it was way far ahead of him,” Stephens said.
Stephens said the vehicle failed to negotiate the corner at South 24th Avenue, struck the power control boxes and then hit the airport control tower. He said there’s no indication that the man was racing another vehicle.
“It completely knocked out the power to all of the the airport facilities there, so the airport is inoperable right now,” Yakima Police Lt. Chad Stephens said.
Stephens said the power company is working to repair that damage, but he’s unsure when those repairs will be able to be completed. He said all flights have been cancelled for at least Friday morning.
No one is being allowed onto airport property while repairs are being made. Stephens said the eastbound lanes of Washington Avenue are blocked off at 24th Avenue, but westbound lanes are open.
YAKIMA, Wash. — No flights are operating at the Yakima Airport for the time being after a car struck the control tower Friday morning.
According to a social media post from the Yakima Police Department, a vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed and struck power boxes on Air Fare Way off of West Washington Avenue before crashing into the control tower.
Police said they believe the driver was impaired when the crash occurred. The driver was reportedly transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
No further information was available about the driver or their condition Friday morning.
It’s unclear at this time how much damage was done to the control tower and power boxes or how long it may take to repair that damage.
Police did not provide an estimated time for when the airport may be able to resume flights and the Yakima Air Terminal website did not have any new information regarding this incident.
KAPP-KVEW has reached out to airport officials and the City of Yakima to learn more about the situation and will update this article as we hear back from officials.
This is a breaking news article and will be updated as soon as additional information becomes available.
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