The Memorial Day Holiday started on a somber note Friday when a Puyallup died after being struck by a vehicle. Washington State Patrol spokeswoman Lieutenant Kandi Patrick says the accident happened around noon just west of of Lakeside Park near Chelan.
A 2004 Volvo, driven by 69 year old John Batjer of Redmond, was northbound on US-97-A just outside of the Chelan City limits when it crossed the center line of the highway, traveled through the southbound lanes and struck 30 year old Lisa D. Palmer who was reportedly jogging on the shoulder of the road. Palmer was pronounced dead at the scene.
The State Patrol reports the preliminary cause of the accident was the driver falling asleep at the wheel, no drugs or alcohol appear to have been involved.
The southbound lanes of “US 97-A” were closed for about three hours as State Troopers and the County Coroner conducted their investigations.
Lt. Patrick said the incident is a tragic reminder of the need for drivers and pedestrians to be careful and avoid distraction at all times, and especially during the holiday weekend.
Batjer’s 66 year old wife Deborah was a passenger in the vehicle, neither of the occupants were injured in the collision. Charges against John Batjer are pending.