15-year-old Mattawa girl dies in head-on collision Thursday morning

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MATTAWA - A 15-year-old Mattawa girl died in a head-on collision early Thursday morning on westbound state Route 24 about 16 miles east of Mattawa, according to law enforcement. Three others were seriously injured and taken to the Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland.

According to state troopers, a Honda traveling eastbound around 5 a.m. Thursday, driven by 18-year-old Felix Rangel Diaz, attempted to pass a semi truck when it crashed head-on into a Chrysler PT Cruiser with three passengers inside. Both vehicles came to rest just east of milepost 47 on the westbound shoulder and reportedly burst into flames, law enforcement said.

The driver and a passenger of the Chrysler, both in their 60s, were seriously injured and airlifted to the Richland hospital. The 15-year-old passenger died at the scene. Rangel Diaz was also transported to the hospital.

The stretch of highway where the accident occurred was closed until around 1:30 p.m., according to Trooper John Bryant, pending an investigation and clean up.

Law enforcement have concluded that Rangel Diaz improperly passed the commercial vehicle and is at fault for the accident. Charges are pending.

- Staff report

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