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Dressed in a blue shirt with a big white kitty on the front, 3-year-old Danika Packard sat on the courtroom bench eating cereal from a plastic baggy and smiling at anyone who caught her attention. The happy little girl gave no indication of the horror she and her parents endured last year when a drunken driver struck her father, Danny Packard, as he rode his bicycle and ran over Danika, who was riding in a specially equipped trailer. The impact disintegrated Danika’s helmet as the driver, Timmy Ngoc Nguyen, 23, continued back to the apartment where he and fellow Gonzaga University law students were taking part in “Beer Olympics.” Tracy Packard was riding on July 21 behind and watched the 2003 Honda Element hit her husband and flatten the trailer carrying her daughter/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here. (Safe Kids Spokane courtesy photo: Spokane police Officer Teresa Fuller rewards crash victim Danika Packard for wearing her bike helmet with a free ice cream coupon from McDonald’s)
DFO: I witnessed a hit-and-run crash in Portland Sunday, when a van clipped a parked SUV's driver side mirror and sped off.
Question: Have you ever witnessed — or been victimized by — a hit-and-run accident?
A memorial service for a Spokane police officer killed in an off-duty motorcycle crash is set to begin at 10 a.m. in Post Falls.
The memorial for Kurt Henson, 47, is not open to the media.
Henson died July 24 at the scene of a crash near Clark Fork on Highway 200 in North Idaho.
Henson and a passenger, 43-year-old Kimberly Lenox of Post Falls, were thrown from the motorcycle Henson was driving after he struck an abrupt edge in a construction zone. They were hit by a 2001 Dodge 1500 pickup, which fled the scene.
The suspected driver, Brianna Knapp, 28, has been jailed on felony charges.
“The officer was very well-liked and very well-respected here in the police department,” Stephens said in a previous news article. “His loss will be a tremendous loss, not only to this department, but to his family, to his friends and to this community that he chose to serve.
“I know I speak for all the officers when I say he will be terribly missed.”
Henson was not wearing a helmet. He was described as an avid and experienced motorcyclist who joined the SPD after leaving the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department in 2000. He worked with the motorcycle unit from 2002 to 2005. Most recently, he worked on overnight patrol and instructed officers at the department’s Emergency Vehicle Operations Course.
A 21-year-old woman who drove away after fatally striking a Spokane pedestrian earlier this year has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.
Hannah K. Hahn is to serve 31 months behind bars with credit for 180 days already served. She pleaded guilty Friday to vehicular homicide for a crash in January that killed Dennis Burgess, 47.
Police say Hahn smelled of alcohol and had “some small bottles of alcohol” on her when they stopped a 1999 Dodge Durango as it sped north on Market near Hawthorne Road about 2:17 a.m.
Hahn told them she thought she hit someone with her car. The SUV's windshield was broken and its front end and hood were damaged.
Police found Burgess unconscious in the street near Providence and Market with severe head trauma. He was pronounced dead at a hospital. He was a father of three and worked as a carpenter and landscaper.
In addition to 31 months in prison, Hahn is to pay $4,362 restitution.
Officers in the Spokane Police Department were saddened Wednesday by the death of a fellow officer who was killed in a hit-and-run motorcycle crash.
Kurt P. Henson, 47, of Post Falls, died Tuesday at the scene of the 10:20 p.m. crash near Clark Fork on Highway 200.
Henson and a passenger were thrown from the motorcycle Henson was driving after he struck an abrupt edge in a construction zone. They were hit by a 2001 Dodge 1500 pickup, which fled the scene.
The driver accused of running over a 2-year-old girl in a bicycle trailer and then driving away appeared in court Monday. Gonzaga University law student Timmy Nguyen has been charged with hit-and-run and vehicular assault. The girl he is accused of running over is still in the hospital with skull and wrist fractures. Police say she was likely saved by her bicycle helmet. Read today's story by Meghann Cuniff and Sara McMullen for more details.
VAN BUREN, Ark. (AP) — A woman accused of leaving the scene of a minor traffic crash in western Arkansas told police she did it because she didn't want her ice cream to melt.
Van Buren police say one vehicle rear-ended another on Arkansas Highway 59 on Sunday evening, but that the driver of the second car didn't stop to check on the vehicle she had hit. The other driver called police and set off in pursuit.
Fort Smith television station KHBS reports (http://is.gd/GSXrgK ) that Flora Burkhart told police she didn't think there was enough damage to merit stopping — and that she didn't want her ice cream to melt.
Burkhart was cited for following too closely and leaving the scene of an accident.
Spokane police released this photo of the March 29 crash.
A Deer Park man pleaded guilty today to a hit-and-run crash earlier this year that injured three people in Spokane.
Christopher L. Smith, 52, told Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno that he blacked out when he approached the intersection of Mission Avenue and Greene Street on March 29. The crash took out a light pole and damaged three other cars. One of those drivers suffered a broken leg.
"I remember turning the wheel and I blacked out," Smith said. "I don't know why I walked away. I think about that every day."
But Smith came to his senses long enough to ask his ex-wife to tell police that he wasn't driving her car. He was arrested later that day at his Deer Park home.
Spokane County Prosecutors initially charged Smith with vehicular assault and three counts of failure to remain at the scene of an injury accident. As part of the plea bargain, two of the latter charges were dropped.
Moreno sentenced Smith, who had no prior felony convictions, to eight months in jail. She noted that if his story were true — that a blown front tire caused the crash — he likely would have faced a citation.
Fingerprints on a knife left at the scene of a hit-and-run crash last September recently led police to identify a suspect.
Michael L. Bridges, who was released from prison last year for another hit-and-run crash, is accused of crashing a Chevrolet Malibu into a vehicle at the intersection of Wellesley Avenue and Belt Street Sept. 8. The other driver injured her arms, back and neck.
Witnesses say the at-fault driver run from the crash into a yard in the 4800 block of North Cannon Street. One witness said Bridges, 26, dropped a knife when he heard he witness mention it to a 911 dispatcher.
Bridges' girlfriend at the time, who owns the Malibu, told police he asked her to report the car as stolen so he wouldn't get in trouble.
Police submitted a charging request to prosecutors March 27 after the forensic unit informed them of the fingerprint match on the knife.
Bridges has a previous conviction for hit-and-run related to a crash in 2008 during a police chase. He was sentenced in January 2010 to 30 months in prison. He was sent to work release on Jan. 6, 2011, and was released on probation on July 6, according to the Washington Department of Corrections.
Bridges' freedom didn't last long. He's been in the Spokane County Jail since February on unrelated charges of eluding police and kidnapping.
A 17-year-old boy in a stolen van was arrested for drunken driving after running into a fast food restaurant, then disabling his front tires by running over a curb.
The boy also faces charges of attempting to elude police, possession of a stolen vehicle, hit and run, possession of marijuana and driving while license suspended after deputies were dispatched to a van driving recklessly Saturday about 7:30 a.m. in the area of East Bigelow Gulch Road and North Argonne Road, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.
Witnesses called 911 to report the van, and sheriff's Deputy Matt Spink caught up with near Highway 2 and Day-Mt. Spokane Road.
Spink followed the van and was told by dispatchers that it had just run into the Zip Trip nearby, according to the sheriff's office. He tried to stop the van, but it sped away before the boy drove it over a curb near Lane Park and Chesapeake Road, which disabled the front tires.
Spink arrested the boy. The owner of the van said he'd parked it in front of his home about 11 p.m. the night before and did not know the boy or that his van had been stolen.
A cab driver is accused of hitting a pedestrian and driving away in downtown Spokane late Tuesday.
Lucas M. Blum, 31, alias McElroy, was driving a white minivan when he struck a woman who was trying to cross Stevens Street while westbound on Sprague Avenue about 10:15 p.m.
The woman said she tried to obtain the driver's information, but he refused, then drove away. She noted his license plate number and identified him after speaking with a representative of Spokane Cab, police say.
Blum was booked into the Spokane County Jail on a felony charge of hit-and-run.
He obtained a business license for a taxi service on March 6, according to City of Spokane records.
A 21-year-old woman accused of leaving the scene of fatal drunken crash has been charged with two felonies.
Hannah K. Hahn, 21, remains in jail on $50,000 bond after appearing in Superior Court today on charges of vehicular homicide and failure to remain at the scene of an accident for the crash early Saturday that killed pedestrian Dennis Burgess, 47.
Hahn posted bond over the weekend on a vehicular assault charge but was to be rearrested on the vehicular homicide charge Monday after officers learned Burgess had died.
Hahn, who is pictured courtesy KHQ, has two misdemeanor convictions for minor in possession of alcohol and possession of another person's ID.
Police say Hahn smelled of alcohol and had “some small bottles of alcohol” on her when they stopped 1999 Dodge Durango as it sped north on Market near Hawthorne Road about 2:17 a.m. Saturday.
Officers seized three cans of Mike's Harder Blueberry Lemonade, a bag of suspected marijuana from the car, according to a search warrant filed Tuesday.
Burgess was struck on Market near East Providence Avenue. His family said he was father of three and worked as a carpenter and landscaper.
A 21-year-old vehicular homicide suspect who missed her court appearance on Monday is back in jail after turning herself in.
Hannah Kay Hahn was arrested Tuesday at her lawyer’s office, KHQ-TV reports.
She was booked into jail about 5:15 p.m. on charges of vehicular homicide and hit-and-run for a crash early Saturday that killed pedestrian Dennis Burgess, 47, at North Market Street and East Providence Avenue. Her bond is set at $50,000. She'll appear before a judge today.
Police say Hahn smelled of alcohol and had “some small bottles of alcohol” on her when they stopped her SUV as it sped north on Market near Hawthorne Road about 2:17 a.m. Saturday.
The SUV’s windshield was broken and its front end and hood were damaged.
Hahn was arrested Saturday but posted bond on a vehicular assault charge. Police planned to arrest her on the upgraded vehicular homicide charge Monday but she didn't show up for court.
Burgess was a father of three and worked as a carpenter and landscaper, his family said.
A chef and restaurant owner turned himself in to jail for a hit-and-run crash that led to a manhunt involving a sheriff’s helicopter early Sunday.
Ryan Michael Morales, owner of Herbal Essence Cafe, was jailed on felony charges of hit-and-run and three counts of vehicular assault.
His bond was set at $5,000 during his first appearance Monday in Spokane County Superior Court.
The Coeur d’Alene Police Department’s CARE Division (Community Accident Reduction through Education and Enforcement) followed up a hit and run accident that occurred on December 11th at approximately 1:00am at 2nd St. and Lakeside Ave. Victim Jessica White was struck by a maroon Toyota pickup and left lying in the roadway. Jessica sustained a broken back and was hospitalized at KMC. Officer Nick Knoll received information during the course of the investigation that led to a suspect by the name of Thomas James Lang, 21, of Post Falls. Suspect Lang is friends with the Jessica White. Jessica and several of her friends in common with Lang knew who struck her with the vehicle and failed to tell the police who was responsible/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene police. More here.
Spokane Valley Police are looking for help in identifying a man involved in a hit and run collision in the Albertson's parking lot at 32nd and Highway 27 earlier this year. The man (pictured above) was wearing a red t-shirt and shorts and has a shaved head, according to Detective Dave Thornburg. He was driving a silver 4-door compact SUV with a covered spare tire on the back. Anyone with information on the identity of the man is asked to call Thornburg at 477-2710. Photo courtesy the Spokane Valley Police Department.
An 18-year-old woman accused of leaving the scene of a crash that killed a bicyclist is to be arraigned on a felony charge next week.
Megan C. Skillingstad is to appear before Spokane County Superior Court Judge Michael Price on Sept. 19 at 10 a.m. on one count failure to remain at the scene of an accident resulting in death.
Skillingstad is accused of striking Dennis Widener, 66, as he rode his bike June 23 on Empire Avenue at North Division Street, just blocks from his home.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed to support the charge against Skillingstad, the suspect's friend's mother helped persuade her to tell her parents about the crash on July 30. Skillingstad's mother was upset and called her "awful names," the friend's mother told police.
Skillingstad went to the woman's home on July 31 and said she'd come over to say goodbye because "she was going to see a judge on Monday, and would probably go to jail after that," according to the affidavit. "She also said that she hoped she'd be able to talk to the widow before going to jail."
But that didn't happen, and police seized Skillingstad's 1996 Nissan Sentra Aug. 5, one day after a friend called police and said she'd been trying to persuade Skillingstad to turn herself in to no avail.
Skillingstad had reportedly told another friend that "she was terrified and didn't know what to do" when she struck Widener, according to the affidavit. "She thought about staying at the scene, but got scared and left."
An off-duty Boise Police officer who was riding his bicycle in Caldwell yesterday afternoon, training for an upcoming bike race, was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver; police are searching for the driver, identified as a Caucasian female with long dark hair, driving a maroon Pontiac Grand Am, a 2001 or newer model with a spoiler and two fog lights in the rear bumper; the vehicle sustained damage to the left front fender and hood. The officer, Chris Cowling, 46, a 10-year BPD veteran, is in serious condition at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise; he's the recipient of the department's Lifesaving Award for saving a 76-year-old man who collapsed at the Boise Airport security checkpoint in 2009. Click below for the full news release from the Boise and Caldwell police.
Detectives are asking for the public's help to find a driver who seriously injured a horse and rider in a hit-and-run crash in North Idaho last week.
Lauren Johnson, 20, and Rebecca Lobato, 21, were riding horses along the side of Garwood Road between Rimrock Road and U.S. Highway 95, north of Hayden, about 8:40 p.m. Aug. 16 when Johnson's horse was struck by a speeding truck.
Johnson suffered serious injuries, her horse, Blondie, suffered cuts and bruises.
The truck is described as a dark-colored, full-sized pickup with a rack. Anyone with information about the driver or the truck, which is likely to have body damage on its passenger side, is asked to call Detective Jason Austin at (208) 446-1300.
A fund has been set up to help with Johnson’s medical expenses. Contributions may be made at any Washington Trust Bank.
A knife-wielding man was arrested Friday after a police chase ended with his car striking a Subway sandwich shop in downtown Spokane.
Charles D. Fletcher, 43, is accused of waving a large hunting knife at passing motorists and scratching their cars while screaming near 9th Avenue and Grand Boulevard about 9:22 p.m., according to court documents.
Spokane police were responding to the area when they heard the suspect, who was driving a white Ford Bronco, had just entered the emergency Providence Scared Heart Medical Center with the knife. The man ran back outside and fled in the Bronco when he saw the police car, and officers pursued him down the lower South Hill and used PIT maneuvers to try to stop him.
Fletcher lost control of his car on westbound 3rd Avenue and crashed into a police, then into the Subway at Browne Street, where he was arrested. Fletcher also crashed into a car at 3rd and Browne and slightly injured the driver.
Fletcher told police he'd stabbed his knife into a car because the driver insulted him and his vehicle. He was booked into jail for hit and run, attempting to elude police and three counts of first-degree assault.
A North Idaho woman was seriously injured on Tuesday evening when a speeding pickup truck struck the horse she was riding north of Hayden. The driver fled the scene.
Lauren Johnson, 20, was in fair condition Wednesday in the intensive care unit at Kootenai Medical Center following the 8:40 p.m. hit-and-run incident.
Johnson and Rebecca Lobato, 21, were riding their horses along the side of Garwood Road between Rimrock Road and U.S. Highway 95 when they heard the sound of the speeding truck, Lobato said.
A suspect has been identified in a June hit-and-run crash that led to a 66-year-old Spokane man’s death.
Spokane police on Friday seized a 1996 Nissan Sentra that they believe 18-year-old Megan C. Skillingstad was driving when she struck Dennis Widener on June 23. Widener (pictured) died of his injuries two weeks later.
Cpl. Brad Hallock said Skillingstad, who has not been arrested and has no criminal history, faces a charge of failure to leave information at the scene of a collision resulting in death.
A north Spokane man who was injured in June by a hit-and-run driver died of a heart attack Wednesday
Dennis Widener was struck while out exercising on his bicycle at Division Street and Garland Avenue about 5:45 a.m. on June 23.
He was hospitalized at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center with broken ribs and other injuries and then transferred to St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute.
The collision was the subject of a story in Wednesday's edition of The Spokesman-Review.
Spokane police said they had little evidence to solve the felony case other than a vague vehicle description, possibly a brown Toyota Avalon.
Anyone with information should call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.
A reckless driver who cut off a Washington State Patrol detective in the Hillyard area offered this assessment of the man, according to police: "You're a pussy."
Detective M.C. Bambino said Justin Tyler Whitney, 30, yelled that at him from his 1981 Volkswagen pickup truck before ramming Bambino's unmarked squad car and fleeing the area.
The suspect was arrested Monday - nearly one month after the May 9 incident.
Trooper Troy Briggs, spokesman for WSP, said detectives encountered several dead ends when trying to locate Whitney, delaying his arrest.
Bambino was southbound on North Market Street approaching East Garland Avenue when he noticed a speeding green pickup driving erratically.
The driver insulted him before swerving toward his vehicle, then refusing to pull over, according to an affidavit. The truck stopped in near East Carlisle Avenue, then reversed and rammed a Toyota car that had stopped nearby. The truck then rammed part of Bambino's vehicle and was last seen driving northbound on Greene Street.
Bambino obtained the pickup's license plate, which showed the vehicle was registered to Whitney.
Bambino said Whitney had a "crazed look on his face" during the melee and believes he was on drugs.
Whitney appeared in Superior Court Tuesday on charges of reckless driving, two counts of hit and run and two counts of first-degree assault
The Spokane Valley Police Department announced this morning the arrest of a Greenacres man after he allegedly rammed a parked truck in the 14800 block of East Fourth around 2 a.m. A woman called police to report that a red Ford truck had hit her neighbor's Chevy truck once, then backed up and hit it again, pusing it into the street. She was able to get the license number from the Ford and give it to police. They arrived at the man's home and found him smelling of alcohol. Reporter Meghann Cuniff has more details here.
A 43-year-old Greenacres man is accused of crashing his pickup into a parked vehicle twice before witnesses followed him from the scene.
Steven J. Bays was followed from the 14800 block of East Fourth Avenue by a witness who reported his red Ford truck's license plate number to Spokane Valley police.
The truck had knocked into the parked truck in the westbound lane of Fourth about 2 a.m., then backed up and ran into a the truck again before fleeing eastbound, witnesses said. Police impounded the victim vehicle after they weren't able to contact its owner.
Officers traced the license plate to the 18000 block of East Springfield, where they found the red Ford parked the wrong way with damage to its driver's side.
Bays' sister told police he'd recently arrived home but didn't know how his truck was damaged. Bays told police the same thing. Officers believe he was intoxicated and arrested him on a misdemeanor charge of hit-and-run.
The incident came less than a day after a Marshall, Wash., man was arrested for hitting a woman's car in north Spokane and fleeing the scene. Arnold Marvin Knuth, 57, also is accused of resisting arrest.
Spokane County sheriff's deputies say he fought with them as they placed him in handcuffs and received "some minor cuts," according to a news release by Sgt. Dave Reagan.
"Because he was carrying blood pressure medicine, the deputies had paramedics check him out before driving him to jail," Reagan wrote.
The noon-hour crash at Cascade Way and North Division Street caused minor damage to a 43-year-old Spokane woman's car.
She told deputies the other driver "profanely refused to stay to exchange information" but she wrote down the license plate of his red Oldsmobile Cutlass, leading police to identify Knuth as a suspect. Deputies say
Knuth refused to provide a driver's license or other identification, "making a custodial arrest necessary," Reagan said.
A Spokane Valley woman told police she was distracted by her 5-year-old son when she hit a pedestrian Saturday, then fled "because she was confused and scared," police said today.
The man who was hit was sore but not injured, police said.
Wendy E. Berg, 32, was arrested after police located her truck at 11900 E. Broadway Ave. A witness said he was stopped at Pines Road and Broadway Avenue when he saw the the truck hit the pedestrian, then drive away on Pines.
Berg told police "she slammed on the brakes, but panicked when she knocked the man down," according to a news release. "She said she drove home in a circuitous route because she was confused and scared"
Berg was cited and released.
A former Spokane police sergeant fired after a drunken hit-and-run crash has been offered a spot as a detective after a change in state law lifted his driving restrictions.
City officials notified Bradley N. Thoma on Friday that he can return at the demoted level immediately after he obtained an unrestricted driver’s license this week, said Marlene Feist, city spokeswoman.
Thoma left the Spokane Police Department in December 2009 after Chief Anne Kirkpatrick said he wouldn’t be able to work as long as he was required to drive with an ignition interlock device.
But the state Legislature adjusted the law effective Jan. 1, and Thoma no longer has to drive with the device.
Thoma, a 20-year police veteran, has not yet accepted the position, which pays between $74,000 and $82,000 annually. He made about $91,000 as a sergeant.
A Spokane Valley driver is accused of hitting a teenage pedestrian then leaving the scene with his 10-year-old son in the truck.
Steven A. Black, 42, left behind the license plate to his 1996 Dodge pickup after he struck Cody Washburn, 18, about 3:15 a.m. Saturday on Fourth Avenue between Adams and Progress roads, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.
Investigators used it to track Black to his home in the 10800 block of East Trent Avenue about 25 minutes after the crash, where they said he showed signs of being intoxicated. A blood sample was sent to the state toxicological lab and is expected back in about a month, police said.
Washburn fractured his back and suffered internal bleeding. He is in satisfactory condition at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.