November 17, 1996 in Nation/World

Snow Makes Driving Deadly Spokane Teen Killed, Harrison Man Injured As Slick Roads Cause Crashes

From Staff Reports Staff writer
 

Ice and snow triggered a fatal accident, closed roads, and snarled weekend traffic as the first heavy snowfall covered the region.

An 18-year-old Spokane woman was killed Saturday afternoon on U.S. Highway 395. Theresa J. Gibbs died after she lost control of her car and was hit broadside by a flatbed truck north of Spokane.

In North Idaho, a Harrison man was injured Saturday when his car spun off Idaho Highway 97, along the east shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene.

Police dispatchers from Idaho and Washington said they were too busy to count all of Saturday’s accidents. Bad driving conditions are expected today as well, according to the National Weather Service.

“They’re sliding off everywhere. I have three different accidents here. … There’s a pickup in the ditch. … There are two accidents here. … It’s all iced up,” officers said.

The worst stretches of highway included Interstate 90 west of Coeur d’Alene and on the east side of Fourth of July Pass, U.S. Highway 95 south of Coeur d’Alene, and state Highway 97.

Most accidents did not involve injuries.

However, 86-year-old Keith Perkins of Harrison was in serious condition at Kootenai Medical Center after his van spun off Highway 97 about 7:30 a.m.

The accident occurred near Driftwood Point, but Perkins’ van was in no danger of going into the lake, said Kootenai County sheriff’s deputy Keith Gomez. Because of existing disabilities, Perkins was unable to get out of the damaged vehicle by himself, Gomez said.

Snow showers will continue this morning and will become scattered in the afternoon. Highs will be in the lower 30s. Tonight, scattered snow showers are expected with lows in upper 20s.

Before the snow showers taper off Monday afternoon, an additional 1 to 3 inches are expected to fall. Monday’s highs will be in the mid-30s.

In the Spokane area Saturday, the Washington State Patrol reported more than 60 accidents caused by icy roads.

The slickest areas were U.S. 395 from Spokane to Deer Park - closed to traffic on two occasions during the day - as well as areas west of the city, the WSP said.

In some cases, tow trucks had removed vehicles in minor accidents before troopers could arrive.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo

MEMO: Changed in Spokane edition.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = From staff reports Staff writers Julie Titone, Jennifer Plunkett and Brian Coddington contributed to this report.

Changed in Spokane edition.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = From staff reports Staff writers Julie Titone, Jennifer Plunkett and Brian Coddington contributed to this report.


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