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Driver In 2 Accidents Has 3 Previous Dwis Troopers Say He Triggered-Two Wrecks Within Minutes

Tue., Aug. 20, 1996

The man accused of causing two Spokane Valley car wrecks that injured three people Saturday is a repeat drunken driver, authorities said.

Dennis J. Dhaenens, 26, of Spokane has three drunken driving convictions and had another DWI charge pending at the time of the accidents, according to court records.

Dhaenens has been cited for nearly 25 other traffic violations since 1989, including reckless driving, records show.

He was charged Monday with drunken driving, hit and run, first-degree driving with a suspended license and obstructing an officer in connection with the weekend crashes.

Washington State Patrol troopers said he triggered two wrecks within minutes of each other.

The first happened about 8:30 p.m. when Dhaenens smashed his girlfriend’s Ford Bronco II into a car at 32nd and Bowdish, troopers said.

Dhaenens left the scene and continued down Bowdish, where he rear-ended a pickup truck at 16th Avenue, causing a three-car wreck.

Two people sustained minor injuries in that collision. Troopers said it could have been worse, but the victims were wearing seat belts.

Dhaenens, who was hurt in the second wreck, was arrested that night at Deaconess Medical Center.

According to court records, he rammed the same Ford Bronco II into a car in the 12300 block of East First on July 18.

No one was hurt in that wreck. Dhaenens, charged with DWI and driving without a license, posted $1,000 bond the next day and was released from jail.

, DataTimes

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