February 11, 2011 in City

In brief: In Brief: Spokane officer speeding at time of fatal crash


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

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,” Detective Dave Thornburg said 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.

Detectives only want to talk to the motorists about what they saw, not why they didn’t stop. 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.

Staff reports

‘Ongoing … dispute’ blamed in shooting

A Bonner County man was airlifted to a Spokane hospital after being shot during a neighborhood dispute Wednesday, officials said Thursday.

Information on the condition of the victim, Richard Larson, 59, was not available.

Authorities say John Bilsky, 58, shot Larson in the 200 block of Makers Way. The Bonner County Sheriff’s Department responded about 4 p.m. Larson was taken to Bonner General Hospital, then flown to Spokane.

Bilsky was arrested on an aggravated battery charge.

Bilsky is a resident of Pennsylvania, according to a news release, but the altercation was described as “an ongoing neighborhood dispute.”

Meghann M. Cuniff

Highway 25 crash leaves one dead

A 73-year-old Colville man died Wednesday afternoon in a head-on collision on state Highway 25 three miles south of Northport, Wash.

Guenther H. Frenzel was headed north on the highway when his 1987 Cadillac DeVille crossed the centerline and struck a 2006 Honda CRV, according to Washington State Patrol troopers.

Frenzel, who was wearing a seat belt, died at the scene of the 3:35 p.m. accident.

The driver of the second vehicle, Janet E. Dunkin, 35, of Post Falls, was taken to Providence Mount Carmel Hospital in Colville. She was also wearing a seat belt.

Staff reports

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