Man distracted by his cellphone causes a fatal crash
YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- A man is behind bars after Yakima deputies say he was at fault during a fatal crash.
Deputies said 23-year-old Carlos Alcala-Sanchez was driving down Mountainview Rd. in Grandview Saturday morning when he looked down at his phone, ran a stop sign and crash into another car, killing the driver.
According to police reports, Alcala-Sanchez told police he got an incoming call, reached down to answer it and the next thing he knew he was upside down in his truck.
Yakima County Coroner Jack Hawkins said the victim was a 59-year-old man from Mabton, who died almost instantly.
"His head whipped so fast, actually broke little bones," Hawkins said. "The brain was bleeding bad and within minutes he was gone."
Hawkins said this is the 18th death from a car crash so far this year.
Washington State Patrol (WSP) began strictly enforcing Washington's new distracted driving law this year, in an effort to avoid tragedies like this one.
WSP said the distracted driving law allows drivers to only use hands free devices. They said if you want to use your GPS or play music, to start it before taking off.
State patrol said drivers are not allowed to use hand held cell phones while driving or when stopped in traffic.
If caught breaking the distracted driving law the first ticket will cost $136 and the second is $234.
WSP said drivers can also get a $99 fine for other distractions such as grooming, putting on makeup, smoking, eating or reading if it interferes with one's driving.
The Yakima County Prosecutor's Office said Alcala-Sanchez is charged with vehicular homicide which is a Class A felony, the maximum penalty is life in prison.