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Sirens & Gavels

Driver in patrol car crash is ex-sergeant

The motorist involved in a crash that destroyed a new Spokane County sheriff's patrol car on Sunday is a retired sheriff's sergeant.

Clifford Berry, 63, retired from the Sheriff's Office in 1997, Sgt. Dave Reagan confirmed today.

Berry was eastbound on Francis Avenue in a 2006 Dodge Ram pickup pulling a trailer full of household goods when he turned left onto Freya Street and was struck by the westbound patrol car driven by Deputy Chuck Sciortino. (The crash is pictured above, courtesy KHQ-TV.)

Sciortino and Reserve Deputy Kathleen Hurst were treated for back and neck pain at a local hospital then driven home after the crash, which occurred about 7:15 p.m.

Reagan said Berry appeared to have violated a green light, which allows for left turns after oncoming traffic has cleared, but he hasn't been cited.

Reagan did not say how fast the patrol car was driving or it had its lights or siren activated.

Detectives are awaiting data from the patrol's car computer before making a charging decision, Reagan said.

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