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Snow Makes Driving Deadly Young Woman Killed After Losing Control Of Car North Of Spokane

Sun., Nov. 17, 1996

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 in a two-car collision on U.S. Highway 395 north of Spokane. Theresa J. Gibbs died after she lost control of her 1994 Toyota Tercel in the slush and was hit broadside by a flatbed truck near Hatch Road.

Washington State Patrol troopers said Gibbs was northbound on the highway when she was hit by the truck, which was traveling south.

The impact sent her car hurtling into a ditch and left a trail of belongings scattered along the roadside.

The 3:20 p.m. accident prompted troopers to funnel traffic to one lane, backing up cars for miles in both directions.

The truck’s driver, 40-year-old Phillip H. Bray of Deer Park, was shaken but not injured.

Farther north, a two-car accident on Highway 395 near Burroughs Road also slowed traffic.

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.

“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 road included Highway 395 from Spokane to Deer Park as well as areas west of the city, a WSP spokesman said.

Troopers estimated more than 60 accidents were caused by icy roads in the Spokane area. In some cases, tow trucks had removed vehicles in minor accidents before troopers could arrive.

A two-car accident near Hastings Road on Highway 395 sent a family of five to a Spokane hospital with minor injuries.

The family’s Datsun was rear-ended as it slowed to turn into the Wandermere shopping center.

And in the Spokane Valley, a young girl was hit by a car while riding her bike, said sheriff’s Lt. David Wyrick. A report on her condition was not available. In Idaho, the slickest roads included Interstate 90 west of Coeur d’Alene and the east side of Fourth of July Pass, U.S. Highway 95 south of Coeur d’Alene, and Idaho Highway 97.

Keith Perkins, 86, 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 by the afternoon. Highs will be in the lower 30s, according to the National Weather Service.

Tonight, expect scattered snow showers with lows in upper 20s. Before the snow showers taper off Monday afternoon, an additional one to three inches should fall.

Monday’s highs will be in the mid-30s.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo

MEMO: Changed from Idaho edition.

This sidebar appeared with the story: ROAD REPORT For road conditions, call 1-888-SNO INFO or 1-888-766-4636.

The following fields overflowed: BYLINE = Brian Coddington and Jennifer Plunkett Staff writers Staff writer Julie Titone contributed to this report.

Changed from Idaho edition.

This sidebar appeared with the story: ROAD REPORT For road conditions, call 1-888-SNO INFO or 1-888-766-4636.

The following fields overflowed: BYLINE = Brian Coddington and Jennifer Plunkett Staff writers Staff writer Julie Titone contributed to this report.



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