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Police sergeant in DUI crash on paid leave

Thu., Sept. 24, 2009, 5:11 p.m.

A Spokane police sergeant accused of driving under the influence and possible hit and run has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Bradley N. Thoma, who has been with the Spokane Police Department since October 1989, makes $91,141 per year.

Thoma, 44, appeared in Spokane County District Court today with defense lawyer Rob Cossey after being cited and released for misdemeanor DUI following a hit-and-run crash at Newport Highway and Farwell Road about 5 p.m., said Sgt. Dave Reagan, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

The victim, Sherry L. Prickett, 51, of Spokane, was stopped at a red light on Farwell when her Ford Ranger was rear-ended by a Dodge Ram pickup driven by Thoma, officials said.

Prickett, who was not injured, and another witness followed Thoma as he fled east on Farwell to Market and turned north. Prickett and the witness told authorities that the Dodge crossed the centerline and drove onto the shoulder of the roadway numerous times.

Deputies stopped Thoma at Market and Highway 206, and he was released to the Washington State Patrol for processing as a DUI suspect, Reagan said.

Chief Anne Kirkpatrick placed Thoma on leave this afternoon, said police spokeswoman Jennifer DeRuwe.

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