Running Red Light Costs 2 More Lives
When the city kicked off its campaign to stop people from running red lights, Hamilton and Mission was one of the dangerous intersections topping organizers’ lists.
Underlining the need for the safety program, three people have been killed in Spokane by red light-running drivers in the past month - an unusually high number of fatalities.
“Usually you just have fender-benders,” police spokesman Dick Cottam said.
One man was killed April 26. A woman and a teenage girl died Saturday night in a five-vehicle accident at Hamilton and Mission that injured five other people.
Karen L. Sederholm, 26, and Julie M. Allen, 14 or 15, both of Spokane, died at the scene of the accident.
James B. Barstad, 30, of Richland is being held in the Spokane County Jail on two counts of vehicular homicide. He was on “behavior watch” and couldn’t see visitors, a police sergeant said Sunday night.
Barstad was driving a red-and-white pickup westbound on Mission about 7:30 p.m. Saturday, reportedly at speeds up to 60 mph. He raced through the red light at Hamilton, police said.
The truck collided with a blue Honda driving north on Hamilton. Then the truck became airborne, striking a red Ford LTD traveling south on Hamilton.
The pickup’s rear axle was torn off, and either the pickup or the axle hit a silver Honda heading south on Hamilton.
Police say the pickup spun across the street and hit a Ford Tempo that had stopped for the light in an eastbound lane of Mission.
A spare tire in the pickup bed flew out and damaged traffic pedestrian signals. A large plastic toolbox in the pickup bed flew more than half a block west on Mission. It was found in the middle of the street.
Sederholm was driving the silver Honda. Two female passengers in her car were injured. They’ve been released from the hospital.
The two had flown into Spokane Saturday from California to see Sederholm. The three had been friends since junior high school, according to police.
Allen was in the rear passenger seat of the LTD. Her mother, who was driving, was listed in serious condition Sunday night at an area hospital. Her name was not released.
Allen’s brother, who was in the passenger seat, was also injured. He was listed in satisfactory condition at another hospital.
Others injured in the accident were treated and released.
Barstad was treated for cuts and scrapes. Officers said he appeared to be intoxicated.
He was also booked into jail on unrelated charges of second-degree malicious mischief, fourth-degree domestic violence and possession of controlled substances with intent to manufacture and deliver.
After Saturday’s crash, police said they found quantities of methamphetamine and marijuana on Barstad.