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Spokane Valley woman killed in crash

Fri., April 6, 2007

A woman died and her husband was critically injured Thursday when their small car was broadsided by a large pickup on Sprague Avenue in Spokane Valley.

The wreck closed all westbound lanes of Sprague for more than two hours as investigators just west of the Sullivan Road intersection examined the wreckage, which spread more than 100 feet beyond the point of impact.

“The two vehicles apparently got locked together and went down the road a fair distance before coming apart,” said Sgt. Dave Reagan, Spokane Valley Police spokesman.

Because the crash, which occurred shortly before 1 p.m., killed someone, a homicide investigation will take place before citations are issued or blame for the accident is assigned, Reagan said.

Police said the Spokane Valley couple, riding in a metallic raspberry 1996 Chevy Cavalier, was leaving the rear parking lot of the Ace Hardware at Sullivan and Sprague.

Driving onto Sprague from the north, they were apparently aiming for the center turning lane in the middle of the seven-lane street. But the turning lane was blocked by another car and the Cavalier never got there. Instead, the car stopped crosswise in the innermost westbound lane of Sprague.

A westbound red 2004 Ford F250 pickup smashed into the driver’s side of the Cavalier. The truck was so high it left tire marks all the way up the side of the Cavalier’s front fender, but suffered only minimal damage.

Bystanders gathered in the parking lot of The Dollar Store stared at the Cavalier positioned halfway on the sidewalk. They wondered aloud where the other car was. In plain view, the Ford showed no visible signs of being in a wreck, other than a front bumper tipped slightly upward on the driver’s side.

Reagan identified the driver of the truck as Michael T. Oien, 28, of Spokane Valley. There were three people in the pickup, none injured.

The name of the woman in the Cavalier who died is being withheld pending family notification. Reagan said the man in the car was rushed to a Spokane hospital before police could gather any information.

The fatality was the area’s second in two days. A teen boy died and two teen girls were injured Wednesday at the corner of Waterworks and Union near Felts Field. Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan would not release the boy’s name.

On Monday, a three-car wreck on Sullivan Road hospitalized a pregnant woman and injured two other people. Initially, officials were concerned about the slow heartbeat of the woman’s fetus, but the heartbeat improved.

In that wreck, police said a Ford Explorer driven by a person suspected of being under the influence of prescription drugs plowed into two northbound cars. The wreck shut down Sullivan, Spokane Valley’s busiest road, for five hours near its intersection with Valleyway Avenue.

The name of the driver and the condition of the pregnant woman still were unavailable Thursday.


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