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One injured in crash on Highway 195

Tue., April 28, 2009, 4:56 p.m.

U.S. Highway 195 is clear following a two-vehicle collision at Cheney-Spokane Road this afternoon that blocked several lanes and injured one woman.

A Washington State Patrol spokeswoman said one occupant needed to be extricated in the crash, which occured about 3 p.m. The 18-year-old woman was taken to a local hospital with non life threatening injuries, said Trooper Mark Baker.

The crash is still under investigation, but Baker said the woman was attempting to cross the intersection, and head north on the highway when her vehicle was struck by a vehicle southbound on the highway.

Two southbound lanes were blocked and one northbound lane was blocked briefly, and traffic was diverted at Inland Empire Way while the crash was cleared.

The intersection is the same one where Lorissa Green, 16, of Cheney, was killed in January leaving a work shift at her mother’s day care center near the intersection. Her death prompted a community call for improvements, including a trip by neighbors to Olympia to make a direct plea for improvements. The visit in March was marked by tear-filled testimony to a House committee by Green’s mother, Debi Hammel, of Cheney.

Lawmakers this month approved a budget allocating $250,000 for a separated exit lane alongside the southbound lanes for traffic turning to go south and west on Cheney-Spokane Road.

The intersection has been the site of numerous injury accidents in past years.

Thomas Grieb, of Spokane, was nearly killed in an accident there in 2006 when he was riding his motorcycle south and collided with a vehicle that pulled out from Cheney-Spokane Road, and joined in the call for improvements last winter.

Baker said until road improvements are made, drivers need to make sure the intersection is clear before pulling out onto the highway.

“Drivers just really need to stop and look and make sure they are seeing all the traffic,” Baker said.

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