At Monday’s Spokane Valley Fire commissioners meeting the department gave Outstanding Citizen awards to two men who stopped and gave life-saving treatment to a hit-and-run victim in the early morning hours of Jan. 1.
A Spokane Valley Police Department press release identified the victim as Cody Washburn, 18. He was hit by a Dodge truck on Fourth Avenue between Adams and Progress roads while walking home and was left in the street.
The two men, Steve Stermer and Heith Carlton, found Washburn lying in the street and called 911. They used their coats to cover him until firefighters from Station 7 arrived to treat him.
Paramedic Rich Bruce was on the crew that responded to their call for help and submitted a letter nominating the two for the awards. Washburn suffered a broken back and severe hypothermia, wrote Bruce. “If he had been exposed to the environment for much longer, he would likely have died of exposure,” he wrote. “If he had been moved, he would likely have been permanently paralyzed. I firmly believe their actions saved a young man’s life.”
The truck’s license plate fell off in the impact. Police later arrested 42-year-old Steven A. Black, of Spokane Valley, at his home for felony hit and run.
Results of a blood test are pending and a felony charge of vehicular assault could be added if Black was under the influence, the police press release said.