Warden woman dies in collision

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Crystal Martinez

A 31-year-old Warden woman died Monday morning in a collision north of her hometown.

Crystal Martinez was driving a 2013 Ford Edge west on Road 6 SE when she approached a stop sign. Investigators believe that Martinez did not come to a complete stop before turning right on Road S SE, where she was allegedly struck by Othello resident Isaiah Garza, 29.

Garza was driving a 2011 Freightliner tractor and trailer headed north on Road S Southeast when he collided into Martinez, causing the semi-truck to leave the road and roll onto its passenger side.

Martinez died at the scene. Garza was treated for minor injuries at Othello Community Hospital and released. No other passengers were in either vehicle.

The road was closed for most of the day during an investigation by the Washington State Patrol Commercial Vehicle Division and the Grant County Sheriff’s Office Motor Traffic Unit.

The truck’s load, a sludge-like byproduct of potato processing, was dumped onto the road during the incident. Officers cleaned the starchy sludge off the roads while investigating the collision.

Both vehicles were totaled. Investigators said Tuesday that they had ruled out drugs and alcohol, and that both drivers were wearing their seatbelts.

Support for the Martinez family’s expenses can be sent to www.gofundme.com/crystal-martinez.

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