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 at about 10:16 p.m. in the 13700 block of South 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, Thornburg said. Evidence also suggested the driver 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, with results expected in about six weeks.
The 17-year-old was still in critical condition Saturday. The other occupants received minor injuries.
Betz Road was closed because of the crash for about five hours into Saturday morning; 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 last week of a state law allowing the recreational use of marijuana by adults, but not while driving.