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Two injured when driver falls asleep

A driver and passenger from Tacoma were injured early today when the driver fell asleep at the wheel along state Highway 26 in Adams County.

Leao Pitoitua, 19, the driver, and Malcom L. Stanback, 18, the passenger, were both taken to East Adams Rural Hospital in Ritzville by ambulance following the 7:10 a.m. accident west of Washtucna. A nurse at the hospital declined to give any information on their condition or whether they were transferred to a larger hospital.

Pitoitua was headed east on the highway when the 2006 Chrysler he was driving drifted across the westbound lane when he fell asleep. The driver overcorrected and lost control of the vehicle, which slid across the eastbound lane and rolled twice before coming to rest on its top in a field, Washington State Patrol troopers said.

The WSP trooper investigating the accident wrote up the driver for improper lane travel and not having a valid driver’s license.