'This was one of the worst things I've ever seen in my life'

'This was one of the worst things I've ever seen in my life' »Play Video
Photo by Michael Spears, Action News

YAKIMA, Wash. - An 86-year-old woman died when her car collided with a fruit truck Friday morning on I-82 near exit 36.

Troopers said the woman was in the right lane when she tried to move left into a turnaround point. That's when she was hit by the semi.

It's one of several recent trucking accidents seen in the valley.

Mangled metal is all that is left of the car crushed by a semi carrying tons of apples.

"It was scary, and it was so slow-happening," said witness Brad Leslie. "That it was like it really wasn't happening. But once we saw it go off the road and keep going, we were panicked and called right away."

Olive Pastrana's car was trapped under the trailer that wound up about a hundreds yards off the interstate.

Leslie and a friend pulled over to try to get the 86-year-old out of the car.

"We broke the windows out of the car and the lady was incoherent," Leslie said.

Emergency responders performed CPR on Pastrana but couldn't save her.

Investigators said the truck driver wasn't hurt.

Witnesses said the victim's car and the truck locked together after colliding. Investigators had to dislodge this car and pull it out before they could take the truck out of the water.

"So there's between 80 and 100,000 pounds of weight in that unit," said Washington State Patrol spokesperson Lt. Terry Liebrecht. "He did an extremely good job keeping the vehicles under control."

This is one of several recent accidents involving big rigs. A 91-year-old man died in a collision last month.

Action News pulled the numbers and found there have been 49 reported collisions involving trucks this year here in Yakima County. Four of those were deadly. The latest accident makes five.

There were more accidents in 2011, but not as many were fatalities.

Most of the 49 accidents this year are being blamed on the drivers of the car. Investigators found the truck drivers responsible more often last year.

Regardless of the blame, witnesses said accidents like this are hard to see.

"This was one of the worst things I've ever seen in my life," Leslie said.

Investigators said the woman killed today was at fault for the crash. Drivers should never use highway turn-around points designated for state and law enforcement vehicles.