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Thursday, December 5, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Two men hospitalized after driver falls asleep in crash near Medical Lake

UPDATED: Fri., Nov. 29, 2019

Rescuers cut into a vehicle that crashed off Interstate 90 on Friday morning, Nov. 29, 2019. A helicopter transported a patient to the hospital, but the person’s injuries are not anticipated to be life-threatening. (WSP Trooper Jeff Sevigney / Twitter)
Rescuers cut into a vehicle that crashed off Interstate 90 on Friday morning, Nov. 29, 2019. A helicopter transported a patient to the hospital, but the person’s injuries are not anticipated to be life-threatening. (WSP Trooper Jeff Sevigney / Twitter)
From staff reports

Two people were transported to the hospital Friday morning after a driver fell asleep at the wheel, causing a crash on Interstate 90 near Medical Lake, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Jonathan Cortez, 26, of Yakima, Washington, was driving a Honda sedan eastbound on the Interstate near Salnave Road when the vehicle left the road and crashed into a tree just before 7 a.m. Friday, according to a news release. A passenger, 28-year-old Carlos Negrete of Brewster, Washington, was injured in the crash, and Cortez was taken by helicopter from the scene to Sacred Heart Medical Center. Negrete was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Cortez’s injuries are not thought to be life-threatening, said WSP Trooper Jeff Sevigney.

Images from the Washington State Patrol show firefighters cutting into the vehicle to remove the trapped occupants. An initial investigation indicates Cortez fell asleep while driving, then overcorrected after entering the left shoulder before crashing into the tree. The WSP is recommending charges of negligent driving.

Both men were wearing seatbelts. Eastbound lanes of the interstate at the crash site, about 14 miles west of Spokane, were briefly closed Friday morning for the helicopter to land.

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