YAKIMA -- An infant was killed Sunday when a cooler came loose from a car on Interstate 82, causing a chain-reaction crash about 16 miles south of Ellensburg.
Five other people were injured, including the baby's mother.
The Washington State Patrol said Wesley J. Fletcher, 23, of College Place, was in the eastbound lane just before 1 p.m. when a car in front of him lost a cooler. Fletcher, driving a 2007 Mazda hatchback, slowed to avoid hitting the cooler and was struck from behind by a Ford F-150 pickup.
Fletcher wasn't hurt, but his 6-month-old son, Milo, was taken to Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital where he died of his injuries, the State Patrol said in a news release.
Fletcher's wife, Rebekah J. Fletcher, 24, was taken to Memorial Hospital. She was still being evaluated and treated in the emergency room early Sunday evening.
The driver of the pickup, Gregg R. Broyles, 52, of Yakima, and his three passengers were treated by medical personnel at the scene of the accident. The passengers were Ruth U. Broyles, 58; Jake A. Coe, 17; and Kingston G. Cardenas, 3, all of Yakima
Everyone involved, including the children, were using either seatbelts or car-seat restraints.
The State Patrol said charges are pending. The cause was the loss of the cooler and driver inattention; drugs or alcohol were not involved.
The driver of the car carrying the cooler called the State Patrol office in Yakima after the crash.