Sirens & Gavels

Suspect in fatal hit-and-run charged

An 18-year-old woman accused of leaving the scene of a crash that killed a bicyclist is to be arraigned on a felony charge next week.

Megan C. Skillingstad is to appear before Spokane County Superior Court Judge Michael Price on Sept. 19 at 10 a.m. on one count failure to remain at the scene of an accident resulting in death.

Skillingstad is accused of striking Dennis Widener, 66, as he rode his bike June 23 on Empire Avenue at North Division Street, just blocks from his home.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed to support the charge against Skillingstad, the suspect's friend's mother helped persuade her to tell her parents about the crash on July 30. Skillingstad's mother was upset and called her "awful names," the friend's mother told police.

Skillingstad went to the woman's home on July 31 and said she'd come over to say goodbye because "she was going to see a judge on Monday, and would probably go to jail after that," according to the affidavit. "She also said that she hoped she'd be able to talk to the widow before going to jail."

But that didn't happen, and police seized Skillingstad's 1996 Nissan Sentra Aug. 5, one day after a friend called police and said she'd been trying to persuade Skillingstad to turn herself in to no avail.

Skillingstad had reportedly told another friend that "she was terrified and didn't know what to do" when she struck Widener, according to the affidavit. "She thought about staying at the scene, but got scared and left."

Past coverage:

Aug. 30: Hit-and-run questions linger

Aug. 6: Suspect in hit-and-run identified

July 6: 'People have got to stop doing these things'




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