Two Spokane boys watched their mother die in a car wreck near Clayton, Wash., on Tuesday, the Washington State Patrol reported.
Timothy J. Todd, the man suspected of causing the collision, is under investigation for vehicular homicide, troopers said.
Daniel Johnson was driving his wife, Lisa, and their two sons north on U.S. Highway 395 when their Chevrolet pickup was hit head-on about 7:25 p.m.
Lisa Johnson, 34, died near the intersection of U.S. 395 and Railroad Road of head and internal injuries. Daniel Johnson, 29, suffered a broken right arm.
The couple’s sons, 7-year-old Eric and 4-year-old Christopher, also were hurt. Eric suffered a broken wrist, and Christopher received abrasions and possible internal injuries.
The youngest boy was the only one in the Johnsons’ pickup wearing a seat belt, troopers said.
Todd was driving the 1979 Ford pickup that hit the Johnsons’ vehicle. The 37-year-old Deer Park resident injured his head in the wreck, and his passenger, 38-year-old Kerry Leathers of Colville, Wash., cut her chin.
Troopers said Todd was headed south when he pulled into the northbound lane to pass at least one car on the frosty road.
“There is evidence of alcohol use on the part of that gentleman,” WSP Sgt. Chris Powell said.
Todd clipped a northbound 1994 GMC Jimmy being driven by Garold Bay of Pasco before slamming into the Johnsons’ pickup. Bay, 43, was not injured.
Todd has a history of traffic arrests dating to 1988, when he was arrested for reckless driving in Spokane, according to court records.
In 1991, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drunken-driving charge.