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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Three dead, two injured in crash that closed eastbound I-90 near Cle Elum for hours

Tow trucks work to clear a semitruck from a ditch Thursday on Interstate 90 near Cle Elum, Wash. The semi crossed the median and struck a Kia Optima, killing three people and injuring two others inside the Kia, according to the Washington State Patrol.  (Courtesy of Washington State Patrol)

Three Yakima residents, including a 10-year-old, were killed and two others were injured after a semitruck crossed into oncoming traffic early Thursday morning on Interstate 90, 9 miles west of Cle Elum, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The crash closed eastbound I-90 for about 13 hours before it reopened early Thursday afternoon.

The driver of the semi, 43-year-old Pasco resident Danny Ellingford, was headed west shortly after 12:30 a.m. while a 2016 Kia Optima was headed eastbound, troopers said.

Ellingford crossed into the eastbound lanes and struck the Optima, killing 40-year-old Justin Poole, the driver; 27-year-old Michaela Buckholt; and a 10-year-old whose identity wasn’t included in a news release because they were a minor, WSP said. Poole and the 10-year-old died at the scene, and Buckholt died at Harborview Medical Center.

A 6-year-old and 36-year-old Nicole Wallawine Poole, both of Yakima, were injured and taken to hospitals. All five occupants of the Kia were wearing seat belts.

Drugs or alcohol were not involved in the crash, the state patrol said. Charges against Ellingford are “under investigation.”