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Unlicensed 15-year-old was designated driver for friends

The 15-year-old who struck a power pole in Spokane Valley on Friday was driving two friends who had been drinking, one of the passengers told police.

Investigators requested a blood sample from the unlicensed driver, who was reportedly driving faster than 120 miles per hour before striking a power pole at 3700 N. Harvard Road, according to court documents. A 14-year-old in the back seat suffered a broken foot as a result of the crash, and the 17-year-old boy in the front passenger seat was transported to the hospital, where he remains in critical condition, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

The driver, who was taken to the hospital with a head injury, had texted his two passengers Friday night saying he wanted to go get some fast food. The two boys had been drinking and smoking marijuana, the 14-year-old said, and they walked to the driver’s house. He drove them to a nearby Taco Bell, according to court documents.

As they were driving back, the rear passenger reported seeing the speedometer hit 120 mph. He told the driver to slow down because they were coming to some railroad tracks, the 14-year-old told police. The driver lost control of the vehicle, slamming into the power pole just before 11 p.m. Friday.

The passenger reported he had not seen the driver drinking or smoking that night, though they had done that together in the past. The boy’s mother refused to let sheriff’s deputies question him at the hospital.

No charges have been filed in the case. Investigators may pursue charges of vehicular assault based on the blood test.