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CdA cop avoids head-on freeway crash

 A Coeur d’Alene police officer responding to a domestic violence stabbing had to swerve to avoid a wrong-way - and allegedly drunk - driver on Interstate 90 last weekend.

Officer J. Noble crashed into a concrete barrier while eastbound on the freeway about 9 p.m. Sunday when he saw a driver later identified as Jodi L. Warner, 43, alias Jodi Turbin, headed westbound in his lan, according to the Coeur d’Alene Police Department.

Warner, of Post Falls, continued driving the wrong way on I-90 until crashing into a guard rail near Atlas Road, where she was arrested, police said.

Warnerwas booked into the Kootenai County Jail on charges of drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident and is out on

bond. Noble scraped his arm during the crash, police said.

Witnesses sought in fatal scooter crash

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a Friday crash near Wandermere Road and Glencrest Drive that fatally injured a Spokane woman who traveled to work by scooter.

Rene Blaume, 54, was riding to her job as an in-home health care provider for a night shift around 11 p.m., when a red 1985 Pontiac Firebird driven by Jonathan Bales, 20, turned in front of her, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.

A sheriff’s deputy driving on Highway 395 noticed Bales’ vehicle just before the crash because it had one head light out.

When the deputy went to stop Bales, he came upon the crash. Bales called 911 immediately after the crash and gave the police a voluntary blood draw.

He told them he had been drinking earlier in the evening while helping a friend work on a car, said sheriff’s Detective David Thornburg. The Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crash.

Anyone who witnessed the crash should contact Thornburg at dthornburg@spokanesheriff.org, or (509) 477-2710.

Man caught w/ 18 monkeys at Mexico airport

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A man with a mysterious bulge under his T-shirt was stopped, searched and detained at Mexico City’s international airport after authorities found 18 tiny endangered monkeys in a girdle he was wearing.

The Public Safety Department said in a statement Monday that 38-year-old Roberto Cabrera arrived on a commercial flight Friday from Lima, Peru, when authorities noticed the bulge and conducted a body search.

The department says Cabrera was carrying the 6-inch titi monkeys in pouches attached to the girdle. Two of the monkeys were dead.

Cabrera was arrested on charges of trafficking an endangered species.

Cabrera told authorities he was carrying the monkeys in a suitcase but decided to put them in his girdle “so the X-rays wouldn’t hurt them.”

In December 2008, a 29-year-old Spokane woman and her mother were convicted of federal charges related to smuggling a monkey into the United States.

In other monkey news, a truck crash in Ohio left animal carcasses all over a road and the driver’s pet monkey stranded atop a utility pole, the AP reports.

The truck was hauling carcasses for a meat processing plant late Monday afternoon when it flipped while going into a curve on a local road in northeast Ohio’s Medina County, the state Highway Patrol said. The frightened monkey scampered up the pole after the accident.

Troopers say the truck driver was OK. The monkey had to be coaxed down from its perch.

The meat plant sent another truck to pick up the carcasses. State and county highway crews were sent to help clean up the mess.

Fiery 3-car crash leads to fugitive’s arrest

A Spokane drug addict who ditched a rehab program last month returned to custody in dramatic fashion recently in a fiery three-car crash that began with a 100 mph chase.

Antonio M. Mitchell, 32, was in the hospital under police guard after the crash last week near East Sprague Avenue and North Fancher Road, according to a Crime Stoppers news release on Sunday.

Mitchell was a passenger in a black Grand Am driven by Penny R. More, 43, (alias Harrison) when More sped away from a traffic stop eastbound on Sprague Thursday about 10:30 p.m., hitting speeds of 100 mph and running a red light at Sprague and Havana.

The police officer ended the search for safety reasons, then continued driving on Sprague, where he spotted the three-car crash. The Grand Am had crashed into three cars before its engine caught fire, according to a news release. Two officers extinguished the blaze as medics tended to the victims, who suffered minor injuries.

More, who was described as uncooperative with police, fire and ambulance personnel, was taken to a hospital with minor injuries and remains in jail on $10,000 bail for vehicular assault.

Mitchell suffered non-life threatening injuries. Crime Stoppers had offered a reward for his capture July 9 after he failed to report to the Department of Corrections and failed to complete rehab in June for a drug conviction, according to court documents. His 11-felony record includes convictions for drug possession, riot and domestic violence.

Bro of cop-crash driver in prison for porn

CORRECTION: Tonia S. Vansant, 36, who is accused of striking a Spokane police cruiser Friday, injuring three detectives, is the sister of Richard Vansant, Jr., who was sentenced to prison for child pornography possession July 14, family members said. Tonia Vansant’s relationship to Richard Vansant, Jr., was misidentified in the post below, which has since been corrected. Richard Vansant’s wife, who was not involved in the crash, is named Tonya L. Vansant, 39.

The brother of a woman accused of crashing into three Spokane police detectives Friday was sentenced two days earlier to federal prison for child pornography possession.

Richard L. Vansant, Jr., 44, was a BNSF Railway employee when employee found his lost iPod with images of child pornography. Federal agents served his home at 11907 E. Railroad Ave. in November 2008 and found more than 10,000 explicit images of children, according to federal court documents. Vansant also told investigators “he uses his Xbox gaming system to communicate with children through the Internet,” according to a plea agreement filed in March.

Vansant, 44, was ordered last Wednesday to serve five years in federal prison. 

Two days later, police say his sister, Tonia S. Vansant, 37, was drunk when she crashed into an unmarked patrol car driven by Mark Burbridge, (right) a detective with the Spokane Police Department’s major crimes unit, at 7:15 a.m.

Also injured were sexual assault Detective Jan Pogachar (left) and Douglas Orr, (bottom right) a computer forensics specialist for the sexual assault unit. 

The crash occurred when Vansant allegedly ran a red light and broadsided the police car at Division and Sharp Avenue.

Burbridge strained his back; Pogacher broke her pelvis and Orr suffered broken ribs, a broken collar bone, a fractured sternum and punctured lung.

All were released from Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and are recovering at home, said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe. 

“While they remain in a lot of pain, they are healing and expected to make a full recovery,” according to a news release.

Tonia Vansant spent the weekend in jail and appeared in Superior Court Monday on three counts of vehicular assault.

Police said she smelled of alcohol after the crash and had poor coordination.

She remained in jail Monday evening on $75,000 bail.

Car w/ stolen loot leads to police standoff

A police standoff in West Central Spokane closed part of Boone Avenue today as Washington State Patrol detectives arrested a suspect in dozens of vehicle prowlings. 

The investigation began July 6 after a troopers found stolen property in a Honda Accord that had been stolen from an Eastern Washington University women’s basketball player July 3, said WSP Sgt. Dave Bolton.

The Accord’s driver, 19-year-old Christopher E. Hooper, was arrested that day for possession of a stolen motor vehicle after police say he crashed the Accord on state Route 291 near Rutter Parkway.

Hooper was allowed to leave jail pending trial but was arrested again today on new stolen property charges, Bolton said. Also arrested earlier today was Bowe T. Frank, 18. He faces a second-degree theft charge related to property found in the car.

A 17-year-old boy was arrested after the standoff at 2510 W. Boone this afternoon.

Hooper already is on probation after in April in connection with the January 2009 murder of Shannon A. Cochran. His July 6 arrest came just a few days after Spokane police arrested him with prescription drugs and suspected burglary tools.

Teen back in jail after 2nd arrest in 6 days

A teenager convicted of assault for his role in a fatal stabbing last year is back behind bars after his second felony arrest in a week.

Released on his own recognizance last Friday on a drug charge, Christopher E. Hooper, 19, was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly crashed a stolen Honda Accord on state Route 291 near Rutter Parkway Road. The Honda had been discovered stolen early Saturday from the 5800 block of N. F. Street.

Witnesses said Hooper lost control of the Honda as he drove northbound on the highway and collided with a rock embankment. Hooper “was acting unusual and very nervous, wanting to get away from the scene,” according to court documents.

Washington State Patrol detectives are sorting through a large amount of property found in the car, some already identified as loot from vehicle prowlings. Hooper was treated for minor injures at Providence Sacred Heart before being booked into jail for possession of a stolen motor vehicle. His bond was set at $2,500.

Police already suspect Hooper of vehicle prowlings - he was arrested early July 1 after police patrolling for vehicle prowlers said he lied about his identity and was found with burglary tools and prescription drugs.

Hooper already is on probation after pleading guilty to second-degree assault in April in connection with the January 2009 murder of Shannon A. Cochran. The teen said he was high on methamphetamine when he handed Michael L. Summa the knife that Summa used to kill Cochran.

Xanax, not alcohol, a factor in pole crash

A woman who police say sheared a power pole with her car Thursday, leading to the injury of a pursing motorcycle officer, was not drunk but may have been under the influence of prescription medication, according to court documents filed Friday.

No alcohol was detected on Susan L. Troyer after a breath test, but she admitted to taking the anti-anxiety drug Xanax that morning and said she’d left work early because she wasn’t feeling well, according to an affidavit prepared by Spokane police.

 “She said that she thought it was the Xanax that was making her feel strange,” according to the affidavit. “She said she doesn’t normally take it in the morning, she usually take it at night.” 

Troyer was released from jail on her own recognizance Friday after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court on a charges of vehicular assault and felony hit and run.

She was arrested Thursday morning after her 1997 Honda Accord crashed into a power pole, and a downed power line that got stuck to the car’s bumper flung backward and wrapped around Officer Tyler Cordis’ neck, police said. 

Cordis (right) was pursuing Troyer after he saw her driving recklessly on Northwest Boulevard near G Street. Troyer struck the pole then stopped a couple blocks away, where witnesses said she tried to flee before police arrived.

Troyer, who has no criminal record, told police her brakes “went out,” according to an affidavit.

Troyer is the wife of Spokane International Airport Police Chief Peter L. Troyer, who filed for divorce last month.

She works as an administrative assistant to the vice president for nursing at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, her public defender said Friday.

Downed wire snags bike cop during chase

A Spokane police motorcycle officer was yanked from his bike Thursday morning when a line from a falling utility pole wrapped around his neck after he turned to pursue an out-of-control car. 

The officer was rushed to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries to his neck. The 9:30 a.m. incident closed Northwest Boulevard from Providence Avenue to D Street for nearly four hours.

Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said the motorcycle officer, a veteran whose identity wasn’t disclosed, was pulled off his motorcycle by the utility line, which was attached to the pole damaged by the out-of-control car. The driver of the car he was pursuing was Susan Troyer, the wife of Spokane International Airport Police Chief Peter L. Troyer. She is pictured above sitting on the grass.

Read the rest of Mike Prager’s story here.

Tips sought on court skipper in wild crash

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest a man who skipped a scheduled plea in a drive-by shooting, then allegedly crashed a car into a northwest Spokane home early the next morning.

Abran L. Gibson, 19, was to plead guilty June 14 to rendering criminal assistance for his role in a shooting in Cheney last February, but he didn’t show up.

The next day, Washington State Patrol troopers say he was driving when a 2006 Hyundai Sonata crashed into a northwest Spokane home after he fled a traffic stop about 2 a.m.

A warrant was issued June 17 for Gibson’s arrest on charges that prosecutors said were to be dismissed had he taken the plea deal: drive-by shooting, riot and first-degree assault.

Gibson was arrested Feb. 21 after police say he was with a 17-year-old boy, Damon Morris, who shot a man’s hand.

Two other boys are charged as juveniles with rendering criminal assistance.

Gibson has been out of jail since April. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Tipsters don’t have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

Past coverage:

June 15: Fleeing driver crashes into north Spokane home

Feb. 25: 3 teens charges as adults in Cheney shooting

CdA tribesman jailed for deadly car crash

A man who has survived three one-car crashes on the same road near Plummer, Idaho, is in federal custody on a manslaughter charge for a crash last summer. 

Joseph Michael Matt, Jr., a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, was charged in connection with an Aug. 18 crash on Lovell Valley Road in Benewah County that killed William “Sonny” A. Davison, 22, of Desmet.

Davison died after the 1997 Jeep Cherokee Matt, now 25, was driving left the road and vaulted nearly 250 feet, taking off the tops of two trees.

Investigators couldn’t immediately determine who was driving the Jeep but now say Matt was driving too fast and was drunk and high on methamphetamine, according to a grand jury indictment unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Coeur d’Alene.

Matt is to be arraigned today on one count of involuntary manslaughter. The charge carries a maximum eight years in prison. 

Matt has been in two other crashes on Lovell Valley Road but was not driving in either.

In March 2009, Matt’s sister, Veronica J. Matt, and mother, Juanita A. Garcia, 42, died after the 2003 Chevy Blazer Veronica Matt was driving veered off the road.

Joseph Matt was in the car, along with 25-year-old Dianna Matheson, of Worley, niece of former tribal councilman David Matheson, tribal officials and Idaho State Police said.

Joseph Matt and Diana Matheson also were injured on the road in a crash on Lovell Valley Road in October 2000. The two were passengers in a 1987 Chevy Cavalier that went off the road.

Court skipper wanted in car-house crash

A man accused of crashing his car into a northwest Spokane home early today was scheduled to plead guilty Monday to a charge related to a Cheney shooting, but he didn’t show up.

Now Abran L. Gibson, 19, is wanted on new charges after Washington State Patrol troopers say he crashed a 2006 Hyundai Sonata into a northwest Spokane home in a police chase early Tuesday.

Gibson allegedly fled troopers after they tried to stop him for a suspected traffic violation about 2 a.m.

Read the rest of my story here.

Man still in jail after wild ride, 2 crashes

A 22-year-old Worley, Idaho, man with a history of drunken driving remains in the Spokane County Jail today after a wild ride that involved at least two accidents in southeast Spokane County.

Toma N. Moses was arrested Wednesday night near 17th Avenue and Freya Street after a front wheel on his car collapsed.

That was after one woman swerved to avoid a head-on collision, allegedly with Moses, at Palouse Highway at Jamieson Road and a man hauling a boat was rear-ended on the highway just west of Highway 27.

He remains in jail on $1,000 bond for charges of driving under the influence, hit and run and driving with a suspended license. More charges are expected.

Read Mike Prager’s story here.

Teens in crash were drinking, charges filed

Two teenagers had alcohol in their systems when the crashed their cars last winter, killing a 19-year-old Spokane woman.

Brooke A. Reese’s blood-alcohol level was .06 and Taylor D. Marean’s was .12 after the Feb. 14 crash on Hatch Road near 54th Avenue that killed Jacoby N. Bryant, (pictured) according to documents filed this week in Spokane County Superior Court.

Vehicular homicide charges were filed Wednesday against Reese and Marean, but no arraignment has been scheduled.

Detectives found meth in Reese’s purse, but she has not been charged with drug possession.Court documents indicate only alcohol was detected in her system.

The sheriff’s detective who investigated the crash said Reese and Marean likely be in court in mid-June after school is out. Marean is a student at the University of Washington.

Investigators believe he and Reese were racing when their cars collided on southbound Hatch Road near 54th Avenue early Feb. 14.

Bryant was in the passenger seat of Reese’s 1999 Pontiac Grand Am, which struck a tree after colliding with Marean’s 2005 BMW about 2:24 a.m., according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

At least one person witnessed the crash, according to the newly filed documents. Ralph Reyes-Lao was driving northbound on Hatch with a Karra Skinfill when a white car being tailgated by a black car sped past them.

Reyes-Lao knew they wouldn’t make the curve at 57th and looked in his rear-view mirror as the cars collided with the tree.

 A woman at the crash scene told them “everything was fine,” according to court documents.

Detectives believe Marean’s BMW was going 51 mph when it struck Reese’s Pontiac (pictured). The speed limit on Hatch is 30 mph.

Reese later reportedly admitted to drinking four shots of Vodka at a party near 25th and Grand before the deadly crash.

She cried at the hospital to detectives, saying “she was responsible for her friend’s death and had to live with it the rest of her life,” according to court documents.

Past coverage:

April 5: Charges recommended in crash that killed teen

Felon’s hit-and-run reveals firearm stash

A felon with a history of fleeing police is accused of ramming a library-bound couple’s car in Spokane Valley before briefly escaping inside an apartment.

Spokane Valley police reportedly found seven firearms in John K. Gooch’s truck after his arrest Friday.

Gooch, 33, appeared in Superior Court Monday on six felony charges related to the incident, which began when a stolen Ford truck he was driving allegedly sideswiped a 2004 Toyota Camry occupied by Charles and Merleen Fox, who were trying to turn into the library parking lot. The Foxes followed the truck from Main and Perriner to an apartment at 10321 East Main, where police arrested Gooch, according to court documents.

Police found a semi-automatic pistol in Gooch’s truck, along with a bag full of ammunition. A duffel bag with six rifles were In the back of the truck.

Gooch is a convicted felon, which means he’s prohibited from possessing weapons. Gooch was arrested after a police chase in Idaho in 2001, according to news archives

He was sentenced to 33 months in prison in May 2008 after pleading guilty to second-degree possession of stolen property, second-degree taking a motor vehicle without permission and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. He pleaded guilty to the same charges - minus the gun charge - in December 2006 and was sentenced 12 months and one day in prison with credit given for 134 days served.

Gooch is in Spokane County Jail on $25,000 bond after appearing in court on charges of hit and run, reckless driving, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, felon in possession of a firearm and two counts of second-degree assault.

Driver on the run after car hits house

Police are looking for the driver of a car that slammed into a Volvo in north Spokane on Sunday, sending the Volvo careening into a house.

No serious injures were reported. The Volvo and its four young occupants remained at the scene after striking the house at 2102 W. Mallon Ave., but the driver that hit them is at large.

Police have no description of the driver; they say his or her car is a late model, white four-door sedan.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Read more a story on the crash here.

Lord Jesus Christ hit by car on East Coast

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — The victim might have forgiven the woman who ran him down in a Massachusetts crosswalk, but police haven’t.

Police say a Pittsfield woman has been cited for running down a man named Lord Jesus Christ as he crossed a street in Northampton on May 4.

The 50-year-old man is from Belchertown. Officers checked his ID and discovered that, indeed, his legal name is Lord Jesus Christ. He was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor facial injuries.

Police say 20-year-old Brittany Cantarella was cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Man in ‘caffeine psychosis’ crashes acquitted

(AP) A Moscow man whose lawyer blamed caffeine-induced psychosis for alleged hit-and-run crashes at Washington State University in December has been acquitted by reason of insanity.

Whitman County Superior Court Judge David Frazier ruled today that Daniel Noble, 31, was temporarily insane during the Dec. 9 incident and acquitted him of two felony counts of vehicular assault, two felony counts of hit-and-run and misdemeanor resisting arrest.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that Frazier granted a defense motion to acquit Noble based on Noble’s attorney’s intent to use an insanity defense at trial.

The two crashes injured pedestrians, Neil Waldbjorn, 19, of Malaga, Wash., and Hogun Hahm, 23, of Pullman. Each suffered a broken leg. Officers used a Taser to subdue Noble.

Noble’s attorney, Mark Moorer, had previously said his client was suffering from caffeine-induced psychosis brought on by too much coffee and energy drinks.

Past coverage:

March 11: ‘Caffeine psychosis’ defendant fit for trial

Dec. 9: Lawyer: Blame it on the caffeine

Woman injured, pot found after car crash

A Newport, Wash., man is accused of causing a car crash on Interstate 84 in Oregon that left his passenger in critical condition and led police to three pounds of marijuana.

Joshua Samuel McDonald, 25, (left) was arrested after his 2000 Chevrolet Impala slammed into the left rear corner of a semi-trailer and continued under the rear of the rig, ripping the car’s roof.

Stacia Lynn Thune, 22, of Spokane, was rushed to a Pendleton-area hospital before being flown to Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, where she remains in critical condition.

“She’s got quite a challenge ahead of her,” said Lt. Gregg Hastings, spokesman for the Oregon State Police.

McDonald, who was not seriously injured, is the Umatilla County Jail on assault, reckless driving, and pot possession and delivery charges.

Hastings said McDonald and Thune are believed to have been traveling from California, where they got the marijuana, when the crash occurred as McDonald tried to pass the semi-trailer at milepost 209 near Pendleton. The trailer’s driver, a Brownsville, Texas man, was not injured.

McDonald has felony convictions in Spokane County. News archives show he was sentenced in August to four months in jail with credit for 93 days served after pleading guilty to first-degree theft, second-degree domestic violence malicious mischief and fourth-degree domestic violence assault.

Cover up alleged in fiery Spokane car crash

A 25-year-old Spokane man is accused of trying to cover up his involvement in a fiery collision by telling police his car had been stolen.

Christopher L. Robinson crashed his car March 31 at 4400 W. Strong Road, taking out a utility pole and knocking out power to several homes in the Indian Trial area, according to the Spokane Police Department.

Police couldn’t find the driver that night, and Robinson reported the vehicle stolen the next morning.

Spokane police Officer Christopher Bode, while he was off duty, contacted a witness he identified Robinson as the driver and said she’d driven him from the collision.

Robinson was booked into Spokane County Jail Thursday on misdemeanor charges of hit and run and false reporting. He’s out on $750 bond.

Convertible pinned under semi on I-90

Three crashes on three roads killed or injured nine people in the Inland Northwest Tuesday.

In one, a Deer Park woman was in satisfactory condition after being extracted from her convertible, which was pinned under a semitrailer during a collision on Interstate 90 on Tuesday afternoon.

Kathleen Schroeder, 49, was driving a Chrysler Sebring in the center lane when a tractor-trailer driven by Martin Gross, 60, pulled in front of her from the outside lane, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Schroeder veered left to avoid striking the tractor-trailer and lost control of her car, which wedged under the semitrailer.

She was taken by ambulance to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center where she was expected to be released Tuesday evening.

Gross was cited for an improper lane change.

Read about the other crashes here and here.

Charges sought in crash that killed teen

Two teenagers involved in a crash that killed a 19-year-old Spokane woman in February face vehicular homicide charges under a recommendation sent to prosecutors Monday. 

Investigators believe Brooke A. Reese, 18, of Spokane, and Taylor D. Marean, 18, of Redmond, were racing when their cars collided on southbound Hatch Road near 54th Avenue early Feb. 14. Jacoby N. Bryant, 19, died at the scene.

“It stands out just because it involves just a bunch of youth - young teenagers - making a bad choice,” Detective Dave Thornburg said. “Ultimately, they’ve affected a lot of lives.”

Read the rest of my story here.

Tips sought on driver v. pedestrian assault

Police are seeking tips on a driver they believe intentionally hit a pedestrian near a Spokane elementary school last week.

The victim was struck at 200 W. Nebraska, across the street from Madison Elementary School, about 4:30 p.m. on March 26.

Officers believe the crash was not an accident. But investigators exhausted leads and police said today that the case remains unsolved.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (509) 327-5111 or (800) 222-TIPS, or submit tips online.

Tipsters do not have to give a name but should provide a code name or number.

South Hill crash injures driver, 3 children

A driver was in critical condition and his three children were injured Thursday after he lost control of his car, which vaulted into a telephone pole before coming to rest on its top near 32nd Avenue and Ray Street.

Spokane police and fire officials did not release the name of the 24-year-old man, who was transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center and the cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Joseph Maine, 22, and his 20-year-old brother, Danny Murinko, were working in their backyard when they heard the driver accelerate while driving a Dodge Stratus northbound on Ray.

 “Hearing those little kids screaming. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I almost wanted to cry,” Maine said.

Read the rest of Thomas Clouse’s story and see more photos here.

No joke: New tickets for red-light runners

Spokane drivers who run red lights at four new camera-equipped intersections can expect $124 tickets beginning Thursday.

The cameras are located at Freya Street facing north at Third Avenue, Second Avenue facing west at Thor Street, Wellesley Avenue facing east at Ash Street, and Division Street facing north at Sprague Avenue.

Red-light runners at those intersections have received only warnings since the cameras were activated March 1, but the warning period ends this week.

Officers have approved 416 warnings through those cameras as of March 23, according to the Spokane Police Department. Another 184 are pending.

The city began fining red light violators caught on camera Nov. 1, 2008. Two cameras are at Francis Avenue and Division Street. One camera monitors Sprague Avenue and Browne Street, and another is at Mission Avenue and Hamilton Street.

Spokane issued 5,690 camera tickets that resulted in revenue of $419,000, Officer Teresa Fuller said in a Jan. 6 article.

But a review of collisions reports shows the camera-equipped intersections had an increase in crashes and injuries in the first year of the controversial program.

Read the story: Red-light cameras yet to signal safety

Shooting suspect arrested after fiery crash

A man accused of a shooting in which a bullet landed near a sleeping toddler was arrested after a fiery car crash Friday night.

Joseph L. Bledsaw, 25, rolled his 1997 Pontiac on Sprague Avenue beneath Interstate 90 after police Officer Chuck Sciortino and Reserve Deputy Bill Duffy tried stopping him on suspicion of speeding near Sprague and Havana about 9:10 p.m., according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

The Pontiac struck a median at Sprague and Havana, and it rolled several times, ejecting Bledsaw. His passenger, Tanya M. Roybal, 26, also was injured.

Roybal was arrested on a misdemeanor warrant. Bledsaw faces charges of first-degree assault, reckless endangerment and unlawful possession of a firearm in connection with a Feb. 27 shooting at the King’s Square Apartment, 15917 E. Sprague.

Police say Bledsaw fired shots into an apartment after a couple complained to police about noise. One of the bullets struck a metal bed post and landed on the blankets covering a 3-year-old girl, police said.

Bledsaw and Roybal were taken to a hospital before being booked into jail.

Bledsaw has a previous conviction for first-degree malicious mischief, as well as a drug conviction in Kootenai County.

Read more: Suspect ID’d in shooting that nearly hit child

Crash leaves SUV in spectacular spot

A crash in Hayden Monday left an SUV entangled in power pole wires and partially suspended above the ground.

Timothy J. Toboyko’s 1997 Chevy Suburban was balanced on its back left corner, facing upward at a 45-degree angle, after Toboyko crossed into the eastbound lanes while westbound on Orchard Avenue, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators don’t know what caused the crash, but they say alcohol was not a factor. Toboyko had stopped at the intersection before he crossed Government Way and stuck a stop sign, then hit the power pole.

The area was without power for about a half an hour. Toboyko was taken to Kootenai Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

The picture was sent to KHQ TV by Rachelle Wolfe.

Fatal-crash defense: Blame the dead guy

A Ferry County man who was drunk during a highway crash last fall was not responsible for the death of the other driver, a jury recently decided.

John H. Clifford was acquitted of vehicular homicide but convicted of drunken driving for an Oct. 2 crash on Highway 21 about fives miles north of Malo.

The 9:20 p.m. crash killed Arthur M. Voges, 49, of Malo. Voges’s wife, Linda, suffered a cracked rib, according to a previous report.

Investigators said Clifford’s 1993 Isuzu Rodeo crossed the center line, but Clifford, who was 66 at the time of the crash, told jurors it was Voges who had crossed the center lane.

Clifford will be sentenced for drunken driving on Friday. He is represented by Republic lawyer Steve Graham.

Past coverage: Highway 21 crash kills Malo man

Bicyclist’s family: Death ‘just too tragic’

The bicyclist killed Monday in downtown Spokane was an electrician and father of six known for his sense of humor.

David L. Squires, 56, was known as “The Sheik” at his electrician job according to his obituary.

His family said Wednesday they’re not ready to talk about him. “It’s still just too tragic,” said his wife of 19 years, Christy.

His obituary described Squires as a 1971 graduate of North Central High School with a great sense of humor and “a rare ability to capture your imagination with his story telling.”

“He lived an honest and simple life, with an open and generous heart,” his family wrote.

Squires was killed in what police describe as a drunken hit-and-run crash that led to the arrest of a Spokane Valley bar owner, Scott C. Reckord, 49.

Reckord posted $50,000 bond Tuesday after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court on charges of vehicular homicide and felony hit and run.

Reckord was arrested Monday night, accused of hitting Squires at Division Street and Sprague Avenue about 6:40 p.m.

Police said Reckord was driving a silver Dodge pickup north on one-way Division when turned left to go west on Sprague and collided with Squires in a crosswalk. Squires was knocked from his bicycle, then run over by the truck witnesses told police.

Witnesses told police the light was green for the northbound Division Street traffic, according to court documents. Reckord was arrested after police said he failed sobriety tests.

He’d returned to the scene after a driver, Bobby Curtis, and her husband, Jeffrey Curtis, followed him westbound on Sprague, flashing their lights and honking their horn to try to get his attention.

Bobby Curtis “confronted the defendant when they got back to the scene and he denied realizing he had hit anything,” according to court documents.

Squires was pronounced dead at a downtown hospital from skull fractures caused by blunt impact to the head, according to the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Reckord owns Sullivan Scoreboard and is a partner in the LLC that owns Scotty’s Bar and Grill.

Police: Hit-and-run driver targeted victim

A pedestrian struck on by a car on the lower South Hill this week was targeted, Spokane police said Thursday.

The 32-year-old pedestrian, whose identity has not been released by police, was struck at 12:22 p.m. on Monday at South Oak Street and West 10th Avenue.

Detectives have contacted a person of interest, but no arrests have been made.

The suspect vehicle - originally described as a light brown or blue sedan with a loud muffler -  has been seized for evidence, police said.

The victim remains at Sacred Heart Medical Center in critical but stable condition