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Semi-involved crash near Colfax kills 2 women

UPDATED: Fri., Feb. 21, 2014, 2:31 p.m.

Two 21-year-old women were killed in a vehicle collision involving a semi just before 5 a.m. Friday near Colfax, the Washington State Patrol said.

Nancy Zepeda Zarate and Ashley Gonzalez died at the scene of the crash on Highway 195 a few miles south of Colfax, according to a news release. Neither women wore a safety belt during the crash, which threw one passenger from the vehicle, the WSP said.

The 1999 Volkswagen sedan driven by Erica Polito Mosso, 21, was traveling north when it crossed the center line and entered the southbound lanes sideways, then was struck by a semi driven by 54-year-old Virgil Baumgarden, according to the news release. Baumgarden and Polito Mosso were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. Baumgarden was not injured, but Polito Mosso was airlifted to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, the WSP said.

A fourth passenger in the Volkswagen, Carmen Gomez Villalpando, 22 of Walla Walla, was taken by ambulance to Whitman Hospital and Medical Center in Colfax for her injuries. Gomez Villapando was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, the WSP said.

The State Patrol is continuing to investigate the incident. Portions of the highway were closed for roughly six hours Friday morning while crews cleared the scene.