A 15-year-old Stanfield teen died early Tuesday morning from injuries suffered in an automobile accident Monday afternoon near Dayton, Wash.
Chianne Griffin-Gaede died at 1:50 a.m. Tuesday while in surgery at Harbor View Medical Center in Seattle, said Washington State Patrol Sgt. Al Escalera.
Griffin-Gaede was a passenger in a 1992 Honda Accord driven by Heather Hancock, 19, of Boardman. The accident occurred about 12:20 p.m. Monday afternoon when the Honda was westbound on Highway 12 near Milepost 376. Three vehicles were stopped for construction near Willow Creek, including a semi-truck driven by 26-year-old Christopher Curn, who was parked at the end of the line of vehicles.
Hancock was traveling at highway speed, said Escalera, when she failed to see the stopped vehicles ahead of her. She attempted to correct to the left and hit a forklift, which was hanging off the back of one of the two flatbed trailers attached to Curn's semi. The semi was a sod hauler and the forklift was mounted to the rear of the back trailer.
"The right front and right passenger side of the vehicle went under a portion of the forklift and the rear trailer," said Escalera.
Griffin-Gaede sustained head and neck injuries. Her injuries were critical enough that emergency teams could not wait for MedStar to get to the scene. She was transported to Dayton General Hospital, where doctors attempted to stabilize her. Escalera said doctors had her airlifted to Kadlec Medical Center in Richland, Wash., where doctors again worked to stabilize her. Griffin-Gaede was then airlifted to Harbor View.
"We believe the driver was distracted by her passenger and did not see the parked vehicles," Escalera said.
Hancock was transported to St. Mary's Medical Center in Walla Walla, Wash., where she was treated and released. Curn was not injured.
Escalera said everyone involved in the crash was wearing seat belts. The crash still is under investigation.
Family friend Scott Morris said Tuesday the family of Griffin-Gaede were still in Seattle and arrangements were pending.