June 13, 2007 in City

Crash cuts power on West Plains

By The Spokesman-Review

About 100 people were without power early Tuesday after a pickup crashed south of Medical Lake, taking down a power line as it rolled.

Two men were in the truck when it sped off South Salnave Road about 11 p.m. Monday. The driver, 23-year-old Kevin Audett, was ejected and unconscious when rescuers arrived. According to the Washington State Patrol, he was not wearing a seat belt.

The passenger, Neil Rogergray, 26, was able to climb out of the truck. He was wearinga seat belt at the time of the crash, the State Patrol reported.

Audett was airlifted to Deaconess Medical Center, and Rogergray was taken by ambulance to Sacred Heart Medical Center, said Sgt. Lennie Walker with the State Patrol.

Audett was listed in critical condition Tuesday afternoon.

Sgt. Walker said alcohol or another intoxicant was involved.

“We’re going to investigate it as a possible vehicular assault,” he said. “It all just depends on what the injuries are.”

Audett will be charged with DUI.

The crumpled white Ford pickup – lights still on – rested on its side about 10 feet east of the road. Grass, dirt, and pieces of metal and plastic littered the road along the 100-foot roll scene.

“Speed was definitely a major factor,” WSP Trooper Jerry Walker said.

A downed power line cut across the road as at least 20 police, firefighters and medics waited for workers from Inland Power and Light to deem the wires safe. The electricity company grounded the lines about 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Authorities were then able to start their investigation.

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