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Three Spokane officers injured in crash on Division

Fri., July 16, 2010, 1:30 p.m.

Division Street this morning has been closed off to traffic following an accident involving three police officers at Sharp Avenue.  (Mike Prager / Mike Prager)
Division Street this morning has been closed off to traffic following an accident involving three police officers at Sharp Avenue. (Mike Prager / Mike Prager)

Officers say driver who hit officers’ car was arrested for vehicular assault

Three Spokane police detectives suffered internal injuries and broken bones this morning when the unmarked vehicle they were riding in was struck broadside at Division Street and Sharp Avenue.

The officers’ injuries were serious but not life-threatening, said Officer Teresa Fuller, a police spokeswoman.

Two detective passengers - a man and a woman - were still being treated at a Spokane hospital early this afternoon. The male detective driver was expected to be released today.

The most seriously injured officer is the male passenger who was in the back seat.

A woman driving the second vehicle was arrested for three counts of vehicular assault after investigating officers determined that she apparently had been drinking, Fuller said.

She has been identified as 37-year-old Tonia S. Vansant. She was not injured, police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said in a news release.

The detectives were headed east on Sharp, and witnesses reported that they had a green light to proceed across the intersection at Division.

A red sport utility vehicle driven by the woman was headed south and crashed into the side of the officers’ sedan at 7:15 a.m.

Division Street was closed to traffic for several hours and motorists were being directed around the crash scene. It reopened before noon.

The detectives’ names were not being released today.

Fuller said she did not know the purpose of the officers’ trip.

The injury accident was the second involving police in a little more than two weeks.

On July 1, motorcycle Officer Tyler Cordis suffered serious injuries when an impaired driver struck a telephone pole, causing the pole to land on him and pull him off his motorcycle, DeRuwe said in a news release.

Susan L. Troyer who struck the pole was arrested on charges of vehicular assault and felony hit and run.

“The Spokane Police Department appreciates the outpouring of care and concern for our injured police officers,” DeRuwe said, adding that members of law enforcement were finding it difficult to have so many officers injured in such a short period of time.

Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick visited each one of the injured officers today at their hospital.



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