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Sirens & Gavels

Deer Park man guilty of vehicular assault

Spokane police released this photo of the March 29 crash.

A Deer Park man pleaded guilty today to a hit-and-run crash earlier this year that injured three people in Spokane.

Christopher L. Smith, 52, told Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno that he blacked out when he approached the intersection of Mission Avenue and Greene Street on March 29. The crash took out a light pole and damaged three other cars. One of those drivers suffered a broken leg.

“I remember turning the wheel and I blacked out,” Smith said. “I don't know why I walked away. I think about that every day.”

But Smith came to his senses long enough to ask his ex-wife to tell police that he wasn't driving her car. He was arrested later that day at his Deer Park home.

Spokane County Prosecutors initially charged Smith with vehicular assault and three counts of failure to remain at the scene of an injury accident. As part of the plea bargain, two of the latter charges were dropped.

Moreno sentenced Smith, who had no prior felony convictions, to eight months in jail. She noted that if his story were true — that a blown front tire caused the crash — he likely would have faced a citation.


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