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Highway 20 crash kills motorcyclist

Sat., Sept. 24, 2011, 3:24 p.m.

A motorcyclist died in a crash this morning on Highway 20 four miles south of Cusick.

Jonathan M. Franco, 27, of Rathdrum, was pronounced dead at Newport Hospital of injuries sustained in the 9:53 a.m. crash, according to a Washington State Patrol news release.

He was riding a Suzuki GSX-R600 on Highway 20 when he rear-ended a Plymouth Voyager driven by Ronald M. Sumner, 64, of Spokane, who had slowed down for an injured deer that was in the roadway, the news release said. Both were westbound.

Debris from the motorcycle struck a third car, an eastbound Jeep Liberty driven by Dale Smith, 62, of Ione. Smith’s passenger, Marilyn J. Smith, 61, was injured and treated at the scene.

No other injuries were reported in the crash. The cause is under investigation.

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