In brief: High-speed chase leads to accident


A reckless driver who led Spokane County sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase ended up crashing down an embankment onto Interstate 90 around midnight Sunday.

Deputies had been looking for the driver since 11:30 p.m. Saturday after the driver nearly hit a sheriff’s patrol car, spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin said. A deputy spotted the vehicle getting onto I-90 at the Sprague Avenue entrance.

The driver was later identified as Daniel A. Wessels, 27.

Wessels got off at the Thor/Freya exit, but lost control of his vehicle and drove down the embankment onto the interstate. His vehicle crashed into another car on the freeway and Wessels took off on foot, Chamberlin said.

A Spokane police K-9 unit tracked Wessels and took him into custody. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment of injuries and has a broken back, according to KHQ.

Wessels faces one felony charge of eluding authorities but could face additional charges.

Authorities believe alcohol was involved, Chamberlin said.

In addition to clearing damaged cars, Department of Transportation crews had to remove a tree from the roadway with a chain saw after it was dragged onto the roadway by Wessels’ vehicle.

Nicole Hensley

Officers sickened by smoke from fire

Coeur d’Alene police officers forced their way into a burning home after neighbors told 911 a family could be trapped inside, according to a Coeur d’Alene Police Department news release.

All four officers suffered from smoke inhalation when they searched the home at 615 E. Hattie Ave., the news release said, but they were not injured.

Nobody was home, and the tenants were located elsewhere and were safe, the release said. The fire burned through the home’s ceiling and roof.

The fire’s cause is still being investigated.

Nicole Hensley

WSU instructor in critical condition following assault

Pullman police investigators believe a Washington State University faculty member seriously injured on Saturday morning was trying to intervene and prevent a physical altercation, Sgt. Dan Dornes said.

Officers found 41-year-old David Warner lying unconscious in the Adams Mall parking lot with a serious head injury. He was taken to a Pullman hospital. Warner is now in critical condition at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.

Dornes said there apparently was an altercation involving a group of four to six people and two other people, one of whom was Warner. Warner was accompanied by another man, a 31-year-old who was wearing a Seattle Seahawks jersey, Dornes said.

Investigators believe there were a number of witnesses and are asking anyone with information on the incident to call Pullman police at (509) 334-0802.

They’ve also released surveillance footage taken minutes before the 911 call; footage of the fight was blocked by cars, Dornes said. The photos can be viewed at

Nicole Hensley

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