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In brief: Spokane Valley woman dies in crash on I-90

A 44-year-old Spokane Valley woman died on Interstate 90 in Spokane on Monday when she lost control of her car during rush hour and was hit broadside by another vehicle.

Laura Syhlman-Annal died at the scene of the collision on the Latah Creek Bridge about 6:30 a.m., said Trooper Joe Leibrecht. The accident backed up westbound traffic on I-90 for nearly three hours.

Syhlman-Annal was headed west in the center lane in a 1986 Ford Mustang when she swerved to the left and overcorrected to the right, causing her car to come to a stop broadside in the left travel lane, Leibrecht said.

A 1999 Nissan Sentra driven by Douglas Stewart, 53, of Spokane Valley, hit the Mustang on the driver’s side.

Leibrecht said Stewart was traveling at normal freeway speed and it appeared that he didn’t have time to avoid the crash. Stewart was taken to Deaconess Medical Center with a chest injury and broken foot, the trooper said.

Both drivers were wearing seat belts.

Mike Prager

Man says he sheltered homeless, got a beating

A Spokane man said he was beaten unconscious by a group of homeless people he invited into his home Saturday night.

Tom Brooks said he was walking from downtown to his home near Monroe Street and 14th Avenue when he encountered three men and two women in their 20s who had no place to sleep. Brooks said he invited them to his home for the night. But the guests, who had been drinking, became loud, Brooks said. When he asked them to turn in, one of the men struck him on the back of the head with a glass cup and the others began beating and kicking him.

When he came to, Brooks said, his credit cards and driver’s license were missing. He went to Deaconess Medical Center, where he was treated for bruises, lacerations and a broken bone in his face. Brooks, a math tutor who organized a local peace prize last year, said it was a shame “to do a favor for someone and it turn completely around.”

Police were investigating.

Kevin Graman

Inland Northwest

Free tax preparation assistance offered

People who earn $42,000 or less can have their tax returns prepared free Saturday at taxpayer assistance centers. Taxpayers who earn more than $42,000 can get advice. Locations: Cheney library, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Moran Prairie library, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; YMCA downtown, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; downtown IRS office, 920 W. Riverside Ave., 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; Spokane Valley library, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. In Coeur d’Alene: Silver Lake Mall, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Lutheran Church of the Master, 4800 N. Ramsey Road, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Bring ID, Social Security cards, income statements and W-2s, child care information, and, if possible, a previous tax return.

Tom Sowa