May 25, 2014 in City

Teen remains in critical condition after collision

Nina Culver And Jonathan Brunt Staff writers
Jonathan Brunt photo

Family members of Ryan Holyk and workers at Charlie P’s have posted signs in support of Holyk, who was struck by a Spokane Valley police car late Friday as he was crossing Sprague Avenue near Vista Road.
(Full-size photo)

A 15-year-old boy remained in critical condition Saturday evening, a day after he was struck on his bicycle by a Spokane Valley police officer heading to another scene.

Ryan Holyk was riding south across Sprague Avenue on a BMX-style bicycle near Vista Road when he was struck by the police car about 10:30 p.m., witnesses said. He was with another boy on another bicycle who was not struck.

The family posted a sign at the intersection Saturday asking for the community’s prayers.

The officer, who has not been named, was not using flashing lights, witnesses said. Investigators have not said if he was traveling faster than the 35 mph speed limit and have released few other details.

Spokane Valley Police Department spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin said the officer was on his way to assist another officer in serving an arrest warrant. Officials have not released details of that incident.

The crash is being investigated by the Spokane Police Department because of the severity of the teen’s injuries, said police spokeswoman Monique Cotton.

Spokane Valley resident Tim Viall had just arrived at Charlie P’s, a restaurant and bar at Sprague and Vista, on Friday night when he heard a screech and thud from the collision. He said he heard what sounded like an accelerating motor, and thought the crash was a hit-and-run, so he pulled forward to get a look at the car driving away.

But Viall saw Holyk lying in the east crosswalk across Sprague; Viall said he parked his truck facing the wrong way on one-way Sprague to illuminate the boy and stop traffic. He rushed to Holyk’s side as the officer returned to the scene. Holyk was in “grave” condition, Viall said in an interview Saturday.

“I told him that there was a God, and I was there with him,” Viall said in a Facebook posting.

Viall said he heard other witnesses on Friday say that the officer had a green light at the intersection when the collision occurred.

Charlie Price, the owner of Charlie P’s, said he has been in contact with Holyk’s extended family and heard late Saturday afternoon that Holyk is “still fighting.” A sign for Holyk has been placed at the intersection for people to write well wishes on.

Holyk was listed in critical condition at Sacred Heart Medical Center Saturday evening.

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said Saturday that he couldn’t give details about an ongoing investigation but plans to release the name of the officer involved early  this week. The Spokane Valley Police Department is a part of the sheriff’s office.

Price said the one-way, five-lane portion of Sprague Avenue where Holyk was hit is dangerous and should be returned to a two-way street. He said he so often sees people drive the wrong way on Sprague that his business sign that faces west says “if you can read this, you’re probably going the wrong way.”

“This is a freeway,” he said.

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