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Crash kills Tekoa boy on eve of 18th birthday

Wed., Nov. 4, 2009, 2:26 p.m.

A one-car crash Tuesday night killed a Tekoa, Wash., boy who was to turn 18 today, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office announced.

Zachary P. Smith died almost instantly when he was thrown from his family’s Chevrolet Tahoe as he crashed it into a ditch and rolled over on Wheeler Road just north of Painter Road in south Spokane County.

Smith was the only one in the car and was not wearing his seat belt, according to a news release.

His brother found the wreckage but not Smith and called 911 at 10:43 p.m. Investigators found Smith’s body about 25 feet from the crash. The boy had called a friend after leaving home but never arrived.

His parents went looking for him but hit a deer, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Smith was speeding northbound on Wheeler when he crossed over the southbound lane, struck a culvert in a ditch and rolled, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

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