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Tri-City flagger killed by accused drunk driver

A traffic flagger from Kennewick was killed by a suspected drunk driver in Oregon who then tried to run from police.

Tyresa Monaghan died Tuesday night after a 76-year-old Milton-Freewater man veered into her with his minivan while she was on a job on Oregon state Highway 11 outside Athena.

Oregon State Police said Monaghan, 49, had stopped a car around 8:40 p.m. as construction crews were repaving part of the highway.

Leman Bledsoe didn’t stop as he got closer to the car, said state police. He side-swiped the car and then hit Monaghan, who died at the scene, said state police.

The East Oregonian reported that Bledsoe hit another car as he tried to drive off. Another construction worker used a water tanker to block him in until police could arrive and arrest him.

A doctor was inside the other car that Bledsoe crashed into, the East Oregonian reported. That doctor tried to help Monaghan, but she died at the scene.

Bledsoe is booked in the Umatilla County jail on suspicion of first-degree manslaughter, drunken driving, reckless endangerment and several other charges, according to state police.

He’s being held on $750,000 bail.

Online court records show Bledsoe was convicted in 1987 for attempted murder and served several years in prison.

Monaghan worked for Shamrock Paving, which had a subcontract to do paving on Highway 11, the East Oregonian reported.


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