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Prayers offered for dragging victim

Fri., Feb. 13, 2009

Students, churchgoers gather at site where woman was hit

Flowers, balloons and a wooden cross atop a dirty snow berm at Carlisle Avenue and Cedar Street create a makeshift memorial for the Spokane woman hit by an unknown driver and dragged a mile to her death.

Students from Trinity Catholic School and church members from St. Anthony’s Catholic Church surrounded that memorial Thursday morning to honor 42-year-old Susette Werner’s memory and pray for the driver to come forward. The school and the church are within a block of where the incident began.

About 60 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders attended.

“It’s good for them to face reality about life and death,” said the Rev. Joe Hien, who led the memorial.

Police think Werner was walking home from a bar early Sunday morning when she was struck by a boxy, dark-colored sport utility vehicle or van at Carlisle and Cedar. The car dragged her 15 blocks to Ash Street and Maxwell Avenue, where her body was found.

Hien’s assistant, Linda Peterson, said she spoke with a man in the neighborhood who said his children heard screams the night Werner was hit. He’d dismissed their reports, saying it was probably cats fighting.

“We pray whoever did that to her will have a conversion of heart and … present himself to law enforcement,” Hien said during the memorial.

Hien’s parish prayed for Werner’s parents, Gene and Vicky Littell, on Sunday, he said.

After a prayer, rosaries and sprinkling of holy water on the memorial site, Hien concluded with: “Our sister Susie was suddenly taken from us. May she rest in peace.”

Reach Jody Lawrence-Turner at (509) 459-5593 or

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