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Thursday, September 28, 2023
Sept. 28, 2023

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3 kids, 4 adults hurt in head-on crash east of Woodland

By , Columbian Editor

Seven people, including three children, were reported injured after a head-on crash east of Woodland blamed on improper passing.

The Washington State Patrol said the crash occurred about 8:30 p.m. Saturday on Highway 503 just west of the Lewis River Golf Course near Woodland.

Troopers said Darrell W. Heck, 42, of Tacoma was driving a red Mitsubishi SUV when he illegally tried to pass a slower vehicle and struck a 2022 Ram 2500 pickup driven by James Witt, 42, of Woodland, which was driving toward him.

Three children riding in the SUV, ages, 16, 14 and 12, were injured and were transported to various hospitals as was an adult passenger, Vernesha Heck, 41. A fourth child was taken to a hospital as a precaution. Only some of the passengers wore seatbelts, according to the state patrol.

Darrell Heck is suspected of vehicular assault and a report is being forwarded to prosecutors. Drugs or alcohol are suspected as factors in the crash.

In the pickup, James Witt was reported to have been injured but did not go to the hospital. An adult passenger, April N. Witt, 41, was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center for evaluation and treatment of injuries. Two children in the Witt pickup, ages 11 and 3, were not injured. All were wearing seatbelts.

Both the SUV and the pickup were totaled, according to WSP.