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100 years ago in Spokane: Joyride ends in protracted disaster for area youngsters

A joyride ended badly for the young people involved. (Spokesman-Review archives)
A joyride ended badly for the young people involved. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Six boys and five girls, around 18 years old, embarked on a wild joyride in the countryside of Spokane. It ended well for none of them.

The escapade began when one of the boys stole a large Cadillac from outside the Davenport Hotel. He drove it to the north part of the city and picked up his 10 companions.

They all piled into the Cadillac and headed for Coeur d’Alene. At about 4 a.m., they missed a curve at 65 miles an hour, flew through the air, broke through a fence and ended up at the bottom of embankment.

One of the girls was unconscious and badly injured. Two of the boys called a taxi, went back to Spokane, and stole another car, an Overland. They returned to the scene of the accident and took the injured girl to a nearby hotel. A surgeon was called in to treat her.

Police soon learned of the accident and officers were able to discover the identities of those involved. They brought in the girls for questioning and they subsequently arrested the boy who stole the car and another boy. Yet the other four boys were nowhere to be found.

The next day, a farmer at Peone Prairie reported a group of boys camped out. Officers found them near Mead, but the boys fled as soon as they saw the police car approach. They ran behind a grain elevator and into a ditch. Police officers fired into the air, and the boys finally surrendered.

They told police that they had intended to jump on a freight train and stay in it until they were in New York, San Francisco, or anywhere far away.


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