KENNEWICK, Wash. -

The case against a Prosser farmer accused of failing to properly store hazardous waste was dismissed Thursday because he has dementia.

The Tri-City Herald reports 79-year-old Philip Andrew Whitney had been charged in Benton County Superior Court with a felony violation.

Deputy Prosecutor Terry Bloor says doctors at Eastern State Hospital diagnosed Whitney with dementia.

Court documents say Whitney had large pits on his property full of tons of fruit pomace -- the remains of pressed fruit. Firefighters described the pits as "eternal burning pulp" with temperatures up to 500 degrees. Three people fell into the lightly covered pits between 1996 and 2011 and suffered severe burns. One teen had both legs amputated.