Woman dies in car accident near Quincy

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QUINCY — A Tacoma woman was killed Monday night when the car she was riding in ran into the ditch along SR-28 and was hit by a truck about one mile north of Quincy. It was the second fatal accident in the Quincy area since Friday.

Lynn Coffman, 64, died at the scene of the accident, according to a press memo from the Washington State Patrol. An 11-year-old girl was transported to Harborview Medical Center.

Coffman was a passenger in a 2005 Dodge Caravan driven by Sarah Scheid, 37 of Warrenton, Oregon. Scheid’s car slid off the road into the southbound ditch, the WSP memo said.

After it had run off the road, Scheid’s car was hit by a 1999 Kenworth truck driven by Lorenzo Mendoza, 57, Pasco. Mendoza lost control of his truck and hit the Scheid car from behind, the WSP memo said.

Sarah Scheid and four children in her vehicle, ages 12, 7, 5 and 4 months, were injured and transported to Quincy Valley Medical Center.

Monday’s incident follows one Friday about six miles away on Northwest Road 5. Sidney Austin, 71, Spokane, died when the tour bus he was driving rear-ended a Quincy School District bus that had been involved in a different accident.

Fog and freezing fog have been a persistent challenge for drivers in the Columbia Basin and Quincy in particular over the last two weeks. When it’s foggy and temperatures drop below freezing “It’s going to be slick out there. Or icy,” said John Bryant, public information officer for the Washington State Patrol, District 6.

Drivers have to pay attention to conditions and adjust accordingly, Bryant said. Of course roads have speed limits, but those are designed for optimum conditions — a dry road, good visibility and light traffic. Drivers also need to think about the condition of the vehicle they’re driving, and whether or not its tires are up to the job. “If you don’t have those factors, you should drive a lot slower.”

Drivers also should increase the distance between them and the car ahead when it’s slick or icy, Bryant said.

Grant County received a grant to install a roundabout at the intersection of White Trail Road (Northwest Road U) and SR-28, said Lauren Loeback, Region 6 communications director for the Washington Department of Transportation. Construction is projected to begin in 2021, she said.

In the meantime, WSDOT is working on a traffic study in the Quincy area, looking at traffic patterns to see what, if any, changes can be made, she said.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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