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Sirens & Gavels

Retired sergeant will be cited for crash

A retired Spokane County sheriff's sergeant blamed for a crash that destroyed a new patrol car Sunday will receive a $175 ticket, officials said today.

Clifford Berry, 63, will be cited for failing to yield right of way after he turned in front of Deputy Chuck Sciortino's westbound patrol car about 7:15 p.m. on Sunday.

Berry was eastbound on Francis when he attempted to turn onto Freya. He had a green light, but the light called for him to yield to oncoming traffic before turning, said Sgt. Dave Reagan.

Sciortino and Reserve Deputy Kathleen Hurst were responding to a threat complaint at the time of the crash and did not have the car's emergency lights or sirens activated.

Computer information from the wrecked patrol car showed Sciortino was driving at or under the 45 mph speed limit eight seconds before the crash and was traveling at 25 to 28 mph at impact.

Sciortino and Hurst were treated for back and neck pain at a local hospital. Berry, who retired from the Sheriff's Office in 1997, was not injured. His ticket will be mailed to him, Reagan said.

The patrol car, which had been in service for about a month, will be replaced next fall when new police vehicle models are introduced. Ford no longer accepts orders for Crown Victorias.

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