A crash involving marijuana and excessive speed Friday night landed six teenagers in local hospitals, one in critical condition.
Spokane County sheriff’s deputies responded to the rollover crash about 10:16 p.m. in the south 13700 block of Betz Road, northwest of Cheney, according to sheriff’s Detective David Thornburg. Upon arriving, they discovered a 2001 Nissan Pathfinder had rolled off the roadway, ejecting two of the occupants.
One of the ejected teens, a 17-year-old female, was airlifted to a hospital. Due to the serious injuries sustained in the crash, traffic investigators responded to process the scene.
Investigators learned the driver of the vehicle, a 16-year-old male, had recently smoked marijuana, and marijuana was found in the vehicle. Evidence also suggested he was speeding when the crash occurred.
The driver was arrested at a hospital on suspicion of vehicular assault, and blood samples were taken. The samples will be sent to the Washington State Toxicology Laboratory, and results will take about six weeks to process.
The 17-year-old was still in critical condition as of noon Saturday. The other occupants received minor injuries.
Betz Road was closed for about five hours Saturday; the investigation into the crash continues.
“While Washington voters passed Initiative 502 earlier this week, this collision is a grim reminder that drugs and driving can have disastrous results,” Thornburg said, referring to the passage this week of a state law allowing the recreational use of marijuana by adults, but not while driving.