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Wash. couple and friends killed in ATV rollover, fire

First responders in Kittitas County arrived in minutes and began treating the patients and keeping the fire from spreading



By Helena Wegner
The Charlotte Observer

LIBERTY, Wash. — A couple and two friends were killed in a fiery ATV crash in Washington, deputies said.

Rescuers responded to the crash about 4 p.m. Saturday, July 29, on a dirt road in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest near Liberty, the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.

Conner Jenkins, 24, of Orting was driving a Polaris Razor ATV. Passengers included his friend, 23-year-old Benjamin Gomez Santana of Covington, and couple, Devon Anonson, 26, of Kent and 24-year-old Halle Cole of Maple Valley.

The ATV rolled and then burst into flames, deputies said.

Firefighters and medics were at the scene of the crash within minutes, deputies said. They tried to stop the “gas-fueled fire from spreading.”

Cole and Gomez Santana were pronounced dead at the scene, deputies said.

Jenkins and Anonson were taken to a hospital’s burn center in critical condition, but they later died, authorities said.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash.

“Sheriff Myers, members of his office, and all Kittitas County first responders grieve the incalculable loss suffered by these four families,” the sheriff’s department said in the post.

Friends and family share their losses

“Please remember to pray for the other 3 families ... this is a tragic loss for so many,” Debra Boyer Cole said in a post.

“You deserved so much more with this life. I love you more than life itself. I would give anything to have you back,” Maddy Cole Taylor wrote on Facebook about losing Cole.

“To a guy who never missed a single phone call for help, a guy who made the most out of what he had, and a guy who knew how to put a smile on everyone’s face. Love you forever,” Anthony Phelan wrote about Anonson.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gomez-Santana family. Benji was an exceptional young man who will be missed greatly,” Sonia Maria Galindo wrote.

Liberty is about 100 miles southeast of Seattle.

©2023 The Charlotte Observer.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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