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4 dead in ATV rollover in Kittitas County


Jim Brunner

Four people in their 20s died Saturday after the ATV they were in rolled over and burst into flames near the town of Liberty, the Kittitas County Sheriff’s office said.

At around 4 p.m. Saturday, deputies responded to a 911 report of the Polaris Razor side-by-side ATV rolling over and catching fire on a dirt road in the Wenatchee-Okanogan National Forest west of Liberty.

Fire and medic units arrived within minutes to treat survivors and stop the fire from spreading, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

Killed in the accident were Conner Jenkins, 24, of Orting, the owner of the ATV, as well as Jenkins’ friend, Benjamin Gomez Santana, 23, of Covington. Also killed were a couple they met that day, 26-year-old Devon Anonson of Kent, and 24-year-old Halle Cole of Maple Valley.

Gomez Santana and Cole died at the scene. Helicopters transported Jenkins and Anonson to Harborview Medical Center’s burn unit in critical condition, but neither survived the night, according to the sheriff’s office.

Polaris has recalled some models of its RZR ATVs after repeated reports of fire hazards, according to media reports and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The open field where the rollover occurred is a popular recreational spot for campers and ATVs. The cause of the accident and fire are under investigation.


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