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Man Killed, Pair Hurt In Head-On Crash Motorist Had A Long History Of Drunken Driving, Was Reported For Driving Erratically Before Wreck

Wed., Feb. 18, 1998

A Mica man with a history of drunken driving died in a car crash Tuesday, minutes after other motorists had notified authorities he was driving erratically.

Terry G. Stark was killed when he plowed his 1987 Chrysler LeBaron head-on into a pickup on state Highway 27 south of the Spokane Valley, troopers said.

Troopers said they don’t know whether Stark had been drinking before Tuesday’s wreck. They are investigating.

The crash occurred at 11:47 a.m., 14 minutes after someone had called 911 to report that Stark’s silver car was swerving near McDonald and Trent, its four-way flashers blinking.

A few moments later, other drivers called authorities to say the 49-year-old Stark was driving south on Highway 27 “at a high rate of speed,” Washington State Patrol Sgt. Chris Powell said.

“They didn’t see him again until they drove up on this,” Powell said, pointing to Stark’s mangled car.

Nearby, a 1979 Dodge pickup, its front crushed, was leaking antifreeze onto the pavement.

Russell and Therese Perry of Plummer, Idaho, were headed north in the Dodge when Stark crested a hill in their lane, troopers said. Russell Perry slammed on the brakes, but Stark’s car hit the pickup on the left front.

The Perrys both were injured and taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center. Russell Perry, 55, suffered hip and pelvis injuries. His wife, 33-year-old Therese Perry, hurt her ankle. Neither was wearing a seat belt.

Stark died at the scene of massive head and internal injuries, the WSP said. He wasn’t wearing a seat belt.

Stark was convicted of driving under the influence in 1988, 1989 and 1993, according to Spokane County District Court records. He also had been arrested five times for driving with a suspended license.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo

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