KIMA expected this day to focus on a celebration of your incredible generosity. But just a few hours into an event, a terrible accident on the sidewalk in front of our building.
The sidewalk outside KIMA was a crime scene Thursday morning. State troopers say a 27-year-old woman was under the influence when her RV jumped the sidewalk and hit an elderly man around 9:30 a.m.
The driver just kept going. A trooper who happened to be in the area was in pursuit within moments.
KIMA was there during those frantic moments when total strangers tried to save Russell Bartlett's life.
Nicole Fragoso was in the back of a Washington State Patrol car minutes after the accident, an accident that had several witnesses. Some of them were at KIMA for our Luminaria Day fundraiser.
"I just heard this loud bang," said Walt Ranta.
Walt sprung into action. The accident happened while he was making a donation. While KIMA and other witnesses called 911, Walt started performing CPR until paramedics arrived.
"If somebody needs help, you sprint to it and try to help out as best you can," he said.
Walt was hoping for a better outcome. He tried to save Russell Bartlett's life, but he shares the credit with everyone who stepped in to help.
"We've got good people in this community," Walt said. "They get involved when they see an emergency like that, so it's great."
While those lifesaving measures were taking place, WSP was in pursuit of an active hit-and-run case. A trooper who wasn't far behind the motor home at the time never lost sight of it. The pursuit ended at Keys and Butterfield Roads. There was clear damage to the motor home.
Fragoso was arrested. She wasn't hurt at all. Troopers say alcohol or drugs were involved. And, on Fragoso's own Facebook page is a personal post a day earlier saying that she was "getting clean."
Fragoso is being held at the Yakima County Jail. She will be in court Friday and is facing vehicular homicide and hit-and-run charges.