Approximate area where crash occurred (google street view)
Approximate area where crash occurred (google street view)

The Yakima County Sheriff's Office says the incident might be gang-related. This image shows the approximate area where the fatal incident occurred.

Man dies after crashing car into irrigation canal

The YCSO was called out on a possible car accident Thursday evening, which occurred near the intersection of State Route 223 and Indian Church Road, just west of Grainger, not far from Toppenish.

A main irrigation canal runs alongside SR 223 for some distance in that area. While Deputies were responding, they also got a call about a shooting that occurred about a mile south near the 100 block of Schuster Road.

The YCSO says the learned the two incidents were related, witnesses at the Schuster Road location said the victim had been shot while driving, and officers later found his car at the accident scene, upside down in the canal. The driver, identified as 19-year-old Anthony Govanny Mendoza-Salazar of Grainger, was deceased.

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Authorities are treating it as a homicide, and possibly gang-related. It is not yet known if Salazar died from the gunshot wounds and drove into the water, or if he lost control, crashed, and drowned.

Anyone who may have information about the incident is urged to call (509) 574-2567. All leads can be confidential.

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