July 26, 2012 in City

Officer dies in hit-and-run

Suspect arrested in motorcycle crash
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Henson
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Officers in the Spokane Police Department were saddened Wednesday by the death of a fellow officer in a hit-and-run motorcycle crash.

Kurt P. Henson, 47, of Post Falls, died Tuesday at the scene of the 10:20 p.m. crash near Clark Fork, Idaho, on Highway 200.

Henson and a passenger were thrown from the motorcycle Henson was driving after he struck an abrupt edge in a construction zone. They were hit by a 2001 Dodge 1500 pickup, which fled the scene.

Idaho State Police said Wednesday afternoon that the driver of the blue pickup, 28-year-old Brianna Knapp, had been arrested on suspicion of leaving the scene of a fatal crash.

At a news conference in front of the Public Safety Building on Wednesday, Interim Chief Scott Stephens said, “it’s really a terrible day for the Spokane Police Department.

“The officer was very well-liked and very well-respected here in the police department. His loss will be a tremendous loss, not only to this department, but to his family, to his friends and to this community that he chose to serve. I know I speak for all the officers when I say he will be terribly missed.”

Henson, who was described as an avid and experienced motorcyclist, joined the SPD after leaving the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department in 2000, and he worked with the motorcycle unit from 2002 to 2005. Most recently, he worked on overnight patrol and instructed officers in the department’s Emergency Vehicle Operations Course.

“For someone to have run over a human being and to not stop to try to render aid seems unconscionable to me,” Stephens said. “So there’s a great deal of anger for me as well.”

Henson was riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle with 43-year-old Kimberly Lenox, of Post Falls, as his passenger.

Henson was not wearing a helmet. ISP did not specify whether Lenox was wearing a helmet.

Henson died at the scene. Lenox was taken to Bonner General Hospital, where she was treated and released, hospital officials said.

ISP is looking for a woman who was driving a small, two-door black car. The driver, whom ISP described in a news release as a “good Samaritan,” picked up Knapp, the driver of the pickup, on Highway 200 near milepost 53.

“We want to talk with the driver of the small black car and any other person who drove through the crash scene shortly after 10:30 p.m.,” ISP said in the release.

Anyone with information should contact ISP at (208) 209-8730.


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