Newcastle woman airlifted after collision

May 31, 2012

By Staff

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A Newcastle woman was flown by helicopter to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane after she sustained injuries May 4 in a head-on collision on state Route 26 about 30 miles west of Colfax.

Susie S. Koontz, 93, of Bellevue, died and five other people — including 61-year-old Cordelia E. Burris, of Newcastle — were injured, some of them seriously.

The collision occurred when a westbound 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt driven by Diana Chun, 21, of Coulee Dam, drifted off the roadway to the right. Chun, who fell asleep at the wheel, overcorrected and struck the eastbound 2002 Toyota Prius. The Prius, in which Koontz and Burris were passengers, left the roadway to the right and came to rest at the bottom of an embankment.

Chun and her passenger, 21-year-old Erick J. Quezada Bastida, of Pullman, were transported by ambulance to Whitman Hospital and Medical Center in Colfax. Chun was treated and released May 4 and Bastida was discharged May 6.

The driver of the Prius, 59-year-old Mary E. Koontz, of Seattle, was flown by helicopter to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland.

Another passenger in the Prius, 63-year-old Judith A. Koontz, of Bellingham, was also flown by helicopter to Sacred Heart.

Chun and Bastida are both Washington State University students, according to WSU’s online directory.

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