Officials Release Victim's Name from Yesterday's Clearwater Fatal Accident

The victim's name, of yesterday's fatal accident on Clearwater, has been released by the Kennewick Police Department.  David Paul Ratliff, a 60 year old from Kennewick was struck by an SUV being driven by an unnamed 84 year old from Kennewick.  The original story is below.



Original Kapp/ story-

A 60 year-old Kennewick man is killed outside of a Kennewick smoke shop after being struck by an SUV driven by an 84-year old man from Pasco.

Richland's Shawn Dean says he missed death by less than a foot this morning.

"I was able to just jump out of the way, and barely move out of the way" said Dean.

Dean was walking next to another man in the parking lot of Big Smoke on Clearwater Avenue around 10:15 AM, when a white SUV came speeding through the area.

"I heard the truck at the very last second, and I just happened to look over my shoulder and there was the truck. And my first instinct was to just jump back out of the way" said Dean.

The SUV missed Dean, but it struck another man - a 60 year old from Kennewick.

Witnesses say the man who was hit flew into the air and ended up in a crosswalk.

People rushed up to help him, but he died moments later.

"I ran over there where everybody was standing. I saw him really close, and I could see that he was still breathing, but by the time the paramedics got there, I knew he was gonna die. I was praying that he wasn't going to die, but he did die" said a witness who did not want to be identified.

The driver of the SUV - an 84 year-old Pasco man, says he was speeding through the parking lot, because he lost control of his vehicle.

"He has told investigators that the accelerator on his vehicle was stuck" said Mike Blatman, Kennewick Police Department.

Witnesses say after the accident, the car continued to fly through Clearwater Avenue for about 50 yards until it stopped.

"The truck went around in circles about six times in the middle of the street, didn't hit no moving vehicles, just went in the center of the lane. Spun around in circles like six times over by the WinCo Foods sign" said Wes Smith, witness.

Dean is still shaken over the tragic accident, but says he's glad to be alive.

"I think if I wouldn't have jumped out of the way, I know I would've been hit too. So I'm lucky" said Dean.

The driver of the SUV was taken to Kennewick General Hospital this morning so police could take some blood samples from him.

Officers say the driver is cooperating and he is not being detained.

Police have not yet released the names of the driver or the victim.