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Flight from police ends in fatal crash

Tue., June 21, 2011

Driver runs head-on into logging truck on Highway 395

A driver being pursued by Spokane County sheriff’s deputies crashed head-on into a semi-truck and died Monday after traveling about a mile with a flat tire caused by law enforcement spike strips.

Several motorists reported a red Ford Taurus driving erratically near Deer Park about noon. Deputies spotted the car driving southbound on U.S. Highway 395 but say the driver refused to stop.

The Washington State Patrol was alerted and troopers laid out spike strips near Hatch Road, which flattened the car’s right front tire, according to the Spokane Police Department. But the car didn’t stop, and about a mile south of the spike strips it crossed into oncoming traffic and crashed into a northbound semi-truck hauling logs, police said.

The Spokane Police Department is investigating the incident with the Washington State Patrol and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

The driver of the Taurus, who has not been publicly identified, was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver, whose identity also was being withheld, was reportedly uninjured, but his truck sustained substantial damage.

The two deputies involved in the pursuit, whose names have not been released, briefed investigators on the crash Monday afternoon at WSP headquarters on North Division Street, sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Reagan confirmed.


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