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River scare stalls traffic

Thu., Aug. 6, 2009

Emergency personnel responded in force Wednesday morning onto and under the Monroe Street Bridge after someone riding the Riverfront Park Skyride reported seeing a bicycle next to the Spokane River.

The woman also thought an object in the water resembled a child wearing a helmet, Spokane Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said.

Spokane Fire Department rescue crews launched kayaks to get a closer look but found only an orange Frisbee, floating trash and a couple of balloons. After Avista Utilities shut off the flow of water over the dam, fire department snorkelers and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office dive team searched the river to make sure.

Crews found a children’s bicycle on the north shore under the bridge, but DeRuwe said a witness recalled seeing the bike there on Tuesday.

The response included seven firetrucks, two ambulances and several police vehicles, choking traffic on Monroe for about two hours.

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