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Car accident victim now in fair condition

Mon., Jan. 14, 2008

A 19-year-old Kennewick woman injured in a Friday crash that claimed the lives of three college students has been upgraded from critical to fair condition.

Brooke Smith’s condition was upgraded on Sunday, according to a Kootenai Medical Center nursing supervisor.

The woman was one of three passengers in a car that crashed along Highway 95 near Cougar Gulch Road Friday. The driver of the car, 21-year-old Tyler Pearson, if Kennewick, was killed, as well as passengers Benjamin Lockard, 19, of Kennewick, and Ann Barney, also 19, of Steamboat Springs, Colo. All three were students at Washington State University.

According to Idaho State Police, the students were headed to Schweitzer Mountain Resort to go snowboarding, when Pearson lost control of the vehicle and hit an oncoming truck driven by Lea Barnes, 35, of Lakewood, Wash. Barnes remains in fair condition at the hospital, authorities said.

The accident is still under investigation, although authorities previously said icy conditions were suspected.

– Staff reports


High winds, fog forecast for region

A cold front moving in from the Cascade Mountains will bring wind gusts as high as 60 mph today in the Columbia Basin, the National Weather Service said.

A wind watch has been issued for the cities of Wenatchee, Moses Lake and Ritzville, the weather service said.

In the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas, winds could reach as high as 30 mph.

Dense fog is also expected in much of Eastern Washington, with visibility down to a quarter-mile Sunday night and into this morning. Rain, wind and a slight chance of snow are also in the forecast for today.

– Sara Leaming

Anchorage, Alaska

Eagles recovering after dive into truck

Most of the 30 eagles who survived a disastrous dive into a truck full of fish guts are close to recovery, said officials at the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge.

They say two birds have died, but most have perked up and may soon be released.

Another 20 eagles died after the birds mobbed the uncovered truck at Ocean Beauty Seafoods on Friday.

Workers from the seafood plant and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service washed the birds in dishwashing soap to help remove the fish oil.

The birds spent the night drying out in a warehouse space, Gary Wheeler of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge told the Anchorage Daily News.

There was some concern that the birds would have to be sent to Anchorage for further treatment at the Bird Treatment and Learning Center, but most appeared to be doing well in Kodiak, he said.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers are investigating the incident.

Eagles are protected under federal law and killing them is a crime.

It is still too early to determine what penalties, if any, the seafood company may undergo, said Kim Speckman, a special agent who is part of the investigation.

– Associated Press


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