THURSTON COUNTY: Crash kills Tenino man, injures passenger

Washington State Patrol troopers said speed was a factor in a crash Saturday that killed a 23-year-old driver from Tenino and seriously injured his passenger. Alcohol was a possible factor, troopers added.

Bryant E. Yale, 23, of Tenino was driving a 1993 Honda Accord southbound on Johnson Creek Road about 7:20 p.m. when he lost control on a curve and struck a tree, Trooper J.J. Gunderman wrote in a report. Yale died at the scene; his passenger, Thomas E. Espey, 22, of Tenino, suffered serious injuries and was taken by helicopter to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, according to Gunderman’s report.

Yale’s family has been notified. Both were wearing seat belts, according to the state patrol.

The posted speed limit is 50 mph, with a recommended speed limit of 25 mph in the area where the crash occurred, Gunderman wrote.