Granger, WA. - A Washington State Patrol Trooper escaped serious injury after his patrol car was rear-ended by a semi-truck. At about 1:50 PM today the Trooper was conducting a traffic stop on eastbound Interstate 82 near Granger. The vehicle the Trooper was pulling over, a 1996 Dodge Stratus being driven by Elizabeth Hernandez, age 34, of Mabton immediately came to a stop in the left lane. Moments later an eastbound semi-truck then struck the rear of the Troopers Chevrolet Impala patrol car. Hernandez was initially being stopping for a speeding violation. The semi-truck, a 2000 Peterbilt semi-tractor, was being driven by Arturo Gomez, age 28, of Sunnyside who failed to yield to the stopped emergency vehicle. There were no reported injuries.
The Chevrolet Impala patrol car sustained extensive damage and was towed from the scene. The Peterbilt semi-truck was driven from the scene with minor damage. Hernandez will face an initial citation for speeding and another for failing to properly yield to an emergency vehicle. Drivers are reminded when yielding to emergency vehicles they are to pull to the right and stop when safe to do so, driving to the right shoulder out of the lane of travel. Stopping within the lane of travel of an Interstate is extremely dangerous for all drivers. Motorists are also reminded that when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle they are to move to the lane away from the stopped vehicle and/or to reduce their speed to pass safely.