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Officer in fatal crash with pedestrian was speeding

A Spokane police officer was speeding when he struck and killed a pedestrian on North Monroe Street at West Montgomery Avenue Jan. 30, investigators said today.

Officer Gordon Ennis was traveling between 34 mph and 39 mph in the 30 mph zone when his patrol car collided with John A. Van Curler, who “was either inside or outside of the crosswalk by a matter of inches,” said Detective Dave Thornburg in a news release.

Investigators say Ennis did not have his lights or siren activated.

Detectives today renewed a plea for motorists who witnessed the crash to come forward.

Ennis said a white vehicle slowed down as it approached the crash but accelerated southbound on Monroe. A second southbound car also passed the crash and turned west on Montgomery. The second officer on scene, Elina Bishop, saw both cars and said the second car appeared to be dark colored, Sgt. Dave Reagan said in a news release.

Detectives only want to talk to the motorists about what they saw, not why they didn’t stop, Reagan said. Witnesses should call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Ennis, an eight-year veteran, was responding to a “trouble unknown” call on West Spofford Avenue at the time of the collision.

Van Curler, 52, was pronounced dead at a hospital, Reagan said.

The crash is being investigated by detectives from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, Spokane Police Department and Washington State Patrol. Ennis was scheduled to return to work last week.


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