September 21, 1995 in City

Crash With Cement Truck Kills Two Witnesses Say Car That Hit Truck, Killing Women, Was Speeding

Gita Sitaramiah Staff Writer

A car slammed into the back of a cement truck Wednesday afternoon on Trent Avenue, killing two women.

Police said the car bounced off the concrete truck after the 2:32 p.m. crash. The women killed were seated in the front passenger seat and in the right rear passenger seat.

The car was headed west on Trent when it crashed into the 25-ton cement truck, which was either stopped or slowing down to back into a construction site, police said.

Witnesses told police the car had been speeding well in excess of the 35 mph limit posted on that stretch of Trent. The car weaved through traffic for miles before the accident, witnesses told police.

Police found two hypodermic needles and open beer bottles in the wrecked Chrysler LeBaron.

The man who drove the car was in surgery late Wednesday, but considered under arrest on charges of vehicular homicide and assault, said Cpl. Tom Sahlberg, of the Spokane Police Department.

Blood was drawn from the driver to determine whether he was intoxicated, Sahlberg said.

Another man riding in the car may have suffered a broken back, Sahlberg said. None of the accident victims’ names were available late Wednesday pending notification of family members.

Trent Avenue, a state highway chosen for a Washington improvement program because of its high rate of accidents, was blocked for hours in the 4800 and 4900 blocks as traffic investigators inspected the crash scene.

The Acme Materials and Construction truck driver Richard D. Hartley, 46, wasn’t injured in the crash.

The relationships of the two women and two men in the car were not known Wednesday.

The two women killed in Wednesday’s crash brings the death toll for Spokane traffic accidents to seven this year, Sahlberg said.

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