Driver, company faces four citations following 395 crash

Semi-truck vs. Ben-Franklin transit bus crash off 395 and Hildebrand Blvd Tuesday. (Sept. 19, 2017/Maecy Enger)

A driver and the Pasco company he was working for, will face four citations after a crash on 395 earlier this week, which sent five people to the hospital.

Trooper Chris Thorson says the Pasco-based Vizcarra LLC trucking company had numerous violations and the responsibility is also on the driver, who is required to do a walk-around inspection before leaving.

Driver Zurisaday Moya-Jimenez from Umatilla will face tickets for failing to use a seat belt while driving, and having state vehicle registration or license plate violation for expired tonnage. The company will face tickets for brakes out of service on the semi truck and for the license plate expired on the truck. The company also faced 8 violations which the Washington State Patrol says is leading the department to audit Vizcarra LLC.

“The Washington State Patrol has determined that the potato truck company does warrant a further investigation into their business and their paperwork and we will be doing that investigation later next week,” says Thorson.

An initial investigation Wednesday found brakes on three of the four axles of a semi-truck were not working or not working properly before the crash.

On Tuesday afternoon around 3:00 p.m., Moya-Jimenez was heading northbound on Highway 395. He says when he was coming up to the intersection he lost his brakes and couldn’t stop at the red light. Thorson says the truck T-boned the Ben-Franklin Transit bus, which was crossing the intersection on Hildebrand Blvd. Troopers say a 15-year-old boy from Kennewick was taken to the hospital in critical condition Tuesday but improved over the evening and was in stable condition Wednesday morning. The other four people taken to the hospital, the 25-year-old bus driver from Richland, another 15-year-old boy from Kennewick, a 15-year-old girl from Prosser and a 54-year-old man from Pasco were treated and released. The semi-truck driver was not hurt in the crash.

The crash caused the semi to roll onto its side and spill its load of potatoes across the intersection.