4 killed in crashes near Ritzville, Kettle Falls

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by KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on May 1, 2014 at 6:09 AM

Updated Friday, May 2 at 3:53 PM

ADAMS COUNTY, Wash. -- Troopers responded to fatal crashes on Interstate 90 and Highway 395 Thursday morning.

Authorities said a car crashed just before 5:00 a.m. about 10 miles east of Ritzville. The wreck killed three people inside the vehicle, WSP said. According to investigators, the car veered off the roadway twice. After the first time, the driver reportedly over-corrected before the vehicle hit a pole and eventually flipped onto its side. It was not immediately clear what caused the driver to lose control initially.

Troopers with the Washington State Patrol identified the driver as Gabriel Johnson, 20, from Spokane Valley. The other two people killed were Mary Werts, 21, and Trevor Hallman-Person, 19. Werts was not wearing a seatbelt according to authorities. All three people died at the scene.

One eastbound lane was blocked as a result of the wreck, according to WSP.

Meanwhile, a head-on crash just south of Kettle Falls Thursday killed one driver and injured another on US 395. According to WSP, the driver who caused the wreck, identified as Jay E. Pratt, 34, was killed. The other driver suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Investigators said Pratt's car was traveling north when it crossed the center line and collided with another vehicle. The cause of the crash was placed under investigation.

Traffic was getting through on the shoulder, authorities said, until around 9:15 a.m., when the roadway was cleared.

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