Two children injured, 1 killed in Centralia area off-road vehicle accident

Seattle’s KOMO reports that a 2-year-old boy was killed and two children were injured when the off-road vehicle, a Suzuki Samurai, they were riding in went off the road and down an embankment and flipped upside down in Big Hanaford Creek near Centralia, Washington. Centralia is a city located along Interstate 5 about 27 miles south of Washington’s capitol in Olympia.

The driver of the vehicle, Benjamin E. Jones, age 41, has been arrested for investigation of Vehicular Homicide and three counts of child endangerment because Washington State Patrol believes he was driving under the influence.

The accident happened when Jones was driving the sport utility vehicle off-road with four young passengers in a grassy field next to Big Hanaford Road. He lost control of the vehicle around 7 pm, went down an embankment and he and the passengers — none of whom were wearing seatbelts — were thrown from the vehicle. A 2-year-old boy could not be immediately be found but a State Patrol helicopter located him about a quarter mile away in the creek. He was pronounced dead at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital a few hours later.

A girl, age 16, and a boy, age 6, received minor injuries in the accident. A girl, age 4, was not injured. Jones was also uninjured.

The WSP said that that the believe Jones was drunk at the time of the accident. Vehicular Homicide can be charged if the operator of a vehicle was driving under the influence, without regard for the safety of others or driving recklessly at the time of the accident.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have received serious injuries and the families of those killed in car accidents. We work to make sure the rights of victims are protected.

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