A Spokane police major crimes detective was injured in a freeway crash today when a suspected drunken driver struck his patrol car.
Mark Burbridge was driving west in the right lane of Interstate 90 just east of the Lincoln Street exit when a 1995 Honda Civic driven by Charity B. Valdivia, 38, crossed over from the left lane and struck his unmarked department-issued 2008 Crown Victoria, according to the Washington State Patrol.
Burbridge’s car spun out of control and smashed into the center concrete barrier while Valdivia’s Honda struck a semi-trailer and lodged under its left bumper, said WSP Trooper Troy Briggs.
Valdivia, of Coeur d’Alene, was treated for minor injuries before she was arrested on suspicion of vehicular assault, according to WSP.
Burbridge, 49, was treated at a hospital for his injuries; Briggs said the extent are not known but that he has been released.
The semi, Brandon P. Yahne, 22, of Lacey, Wash., was not injured nor was his vehicle damaged. Burbridge’s patrol car and Valdivia’s Honda were damaged and impounded to the WSP bullpen.
The 6:50 a.m. crash reduced traffic to one lane and snarled the morning commute. All lanes reopened by 9:45 a.m.
In July 2010, Burbridge strained his back in a crash at Division Street and Sharp Avenue that occurred when a driver ran a red light and t-boned his unmarked patrol car. Detectives Jan Pogachar and Douglas Orr also were injured. The driver, Tonia S. Vansant, had traces of cocaine in her system. She was sentenced in December 2010 to 33 months in prison for vehicular assault.
Investigators suspect Valdivia had been drinking when she struck Burbridge’s car today, Briggs said.