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Yakima County man sentenced in 2019 crash near Harrah that killed rural mail carrier

April 24, 2024
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Photo: Howard W0ods

Howard Eugene Woods was driving his rural mail route late in the afternoon of March 15, 2019, when Andrew Michael Schilperoort ran a stop sign at the intersection of two Lower Yakima Valley roads.

Airbag control module data indicated Schilperoort was driving 86 miles per hour when his vehicle T-boned Woods’ car at the intersection of Harrah and Progressive roads around 4:50 p.m. The collision tore Woods’ Subaru in half. The front half of Woods’ car continued northbound and the back half hit a power pole, ejecting the 53-year-old Wapato resident before hitting a brick wall.

It was “a terrible, unnecessary accident that could have been avoided,” Woods’ sister, Judith Martinez, said at Schilperoort’s sentencing Monday.

Schilperoort, 44, was sentenced to 8½ years in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of vehicular homicide in Woods’ death. Yakima County Superior Court Judge Jared Boswell accepted the sentence recommended in the January 2023 plea agreement. Schilperoort’s defense attorney, Aaron Dalan, and Deputy Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney Bailey Hampton both spoke in support of the recommended sentence, which is at the top of the standard sentence range.

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