Inattentive driving by a Bellingham man led to a one-car rollover crash in Eastern Washington that injured three young men Wednesday, Oct. 15, according to the Washington State Patrol.
Siyang Zhang, 24, of Bellingham, had been headed west on Highway 26 — a road that stretches from Colfax (near Pullman) to Vantage — around 2:35 p.m. when his silver BMW 550i reached the interchange with Interstate 90, east of the Vantage Bridge at the Grant County line.
Instead of merging, the BMW went off the road to the left, likely because Siyang wasn’t paying attention, said Trooper Darren Wilson. The car rolled many times, then came to a rest on its wheels, in an embankment 100 to 150 yards away from where it left the road.
One passenger, Siwei Meng, 19, of Pullman, wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, troopers said. He was thrown from the car through the sunroof and suffered a serious cut to his head. But he was conscious and talking before a helicopter airlifted him to Kadlec Medical Center in Richland, Wilson said.
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Zhang and a second passenger, Xin Juan, 21, of Pullman, were taken by ambulance to Quincy Valley Medical Center. Their injuries were minor, thanks to the fact, troopers said, that both of them wore seatbelts.
“So please,” Wilson said, “wear seatbelts.”
The BMW was totaled.
Drugs and alcohol aren’t suspected as a possible cause of the crash. According to state patrol, Zhang faces a charge of negligent driving.