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High-speed crash topples poles, tree

Mon., Nov. 1, 2010

Police say car was traveling at 100 mph downtown

A motorist apparently speeding through downtown Spokane in a Chevrolet El Camino on Sunday night crashed into a stoplight, toppling it, a tree and a three-story utility pole like dominoes.

The driver, whose identity was not immediately available, was able to walk after the crash but was taken by ambulance to Deaconess Medical Center with injuries not expected to be life-threatening.

“It was burning rubber, like NASCAR,” Jackie Maker, who was at a church Halloween party at Riverfront Park, said of the vehicle. After the screech, “it sounded like an explosion.”

Maker said the driver was “pretty banged up.”

“He was very scared,” she said. “He wanted to make sure his dad knew he was OK.”

Police were called about the crash around 7 p.m., said Spokane police Officer Rhian Wilkinson.

The impact was so great that the car likely was traveling 100 mph or faster, he said. Witnesses said that the El Camino was racing or part of a chase involving a white Jeep Grand Cherokee, which did not stop at the scene. Officers were searching for that vehicle Sunday night.

The El Camino was headed south on Stevens Street and skidded out of control soon after crossing the Spokane River, witnesses said. The car hit a stoplight pole at Spokane Falls Boulevard before hitting and knocking over a streetlight, parking meter, tree and trash can. Debris, including stoplights, was scattered along the street and sidewalk.

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