Woman Killed In 3-Car Collision

<p>Patterson's Car</p>

Patterson's Car

A three car collision outside of Sunnyside this morning claims the life of a 58-year old woman.

The accident happened about 11 am on the Yakima Valley Highway after a driver swerved to avoid hitting animals in the roadway.

Investigators say Estella Patterson tried to slow down to avoid hitting the car, but was rear ended by a third car -- Patterson was declared dead at the scene.

According to troopers, people in the area tend to let their dogs roam off-leash, which can lead to them wandering onto busy highways.

"An alert driver's gonna swerve to avoid hitting it, whether it's an animal, or a piece of debris, or an object in the road," said Sergeant David DeVere, "And in this instance, that's what triggered this collision --- that was the catalyst for the chain of events."

No drugs or alcohol were involved in the crash and no criminal charges are expected.