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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Region in brief: Suit names company in ‘05 death

The Spokesman-Review

A wrongful death lawsuit accuses a Spokane Valley trucking company of negligence after a driver allegedly plowed into a man who’d stopped to help a motorist along state Route 26 during a dust storm nearly three years ago.

David and Karen Caffrey rear-ended a Ford pickup while driving eastbound near Dusty in August 2005 during a dust storm, according to a lawsuit filed June 6 in Spokane County Superior Court. David Caffrey exited his 2002 Kia sedan to assist the pickup’s driver but died after Steven Schmidt allegedly failed to stop his semi in time, according to the suit. The lawsuit claims Schmidt was using his radio to warn another trucker of the crash at the time of the collision.

Now Karen Caffrey, of Deary, Idaho, east of Moscow, is suing Schmidt and the trucking company that employed him, Arlo Huber & Son, Inc., alleging negligence and lack of driver training led to her husband’s death. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. Schmidt couldn’t be reached for comment, and an Arlo Huber & Son representative was not available.

Truck driver in critical condition

A 49-year-old truck driver remained in critical condition Friday after a Thursday crash that forced emergency responders to close down U.S. 195. The other driver was also transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center, Washington State Patrol Trooper Mark Baker said.

The crash occurred at 5:15 p.m. Thursday on Mullen Hill just south of Spokane.

Nicole R. Larson, 25, was driving her 2001 Oldsmobile Alero northbound on U.S. 195 when she slowed to avoid a deer.

Keith L. Vice, of Pasco, was following Larson in his 1995 Volvo semi hauling a loaded flatbed trailer and was unable to stop in time. The semi hit the Oldsmobile, forcing it off the road. The semi jackknifed and left the roadway as well, Baker said.

It took emergency crews some time to extricate Vice from his truck, and he was airlifted to Sacred Heart. He remains in critical condition, according to a hospital spokesperson

Crews also transported Larson to Sacred Heart, but she was treated and released.

Vice apparently was following too closely behind Larson’s car, according to the WSP report.

Spay and neuter clinics offered

The Spokane/Spay Neuter Coalition will host a series of low-cost spay and neuter clinics for cats, thanks to a grant from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Cat owners can get their animals spayed or neutered, licensed, vaccinated and microchipped at a greatly reduced rate: $35 for female cats and $30 for males.

The first two clinics will be held June 22 and June 29 at Pet Savers Spay and Neuter Clinic, 7525 E. Trent Ave., in Spokane Valley. To schedule a surgery, visit or call Pet Savers, (509) 924-7826, or the Spokane Humane Society, 6607 N. Havana, (509) 467-5235.

Cats must be at least 8 weeks old and 2 pounds to have surgery; the program is open to Spokane County residents only.


Washington man charged in assault

A 33-year-old Washington state man is charged with attempted murder and assault in a double stabbing aboard a fishing boat in Izhut Bay southeast of Afognak Island.

Alaska State Troopers say Shane Flemens, of Wenatchee, was unprovoked Wednesday when he tried to stab 20-year-old Robert Lindsey II with an 8-inch knife inside the galley of the Kilokak. Lindsey, of Kodiak, sustained minor cuts.

Troopers say Flemens then turned to Daniel Courchaine, 19, of Kodiak, pushed him to the ground and stabbed him in the chest. Courchaine sustained a punctured lung.

Troopers say Kilokak skipper Vitomir Kalcic, of Kodiak, heard cries and went to the galley, where Flemens tried to stab him before Kalcic was able to call for help.

Courchaine was taken to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center and was reported in stable condition.

Flemens is in custody in Kodiak.


Tribes seek feeback on wolf plan

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes say they are seeking public comment as they develop a wolf management plan for the Flathead Reservation.

The tribes say they want to manage the reservation’s wolf population to help prevent re-listing of the animals.

Options being considered include establishing a wolf hunt, and allowing ranchers to kill wolves that attack livestock or pets. Currently, hunting or taking of wolves on the reservation is prohibited.

State officials are making plans for a limited wolf hunt this fall following the federal government’s recent removal of Northern Rockies gray wolves from protection under the Endangered Species Act, action that is being challenged in federal court.

The tribes say wolf activity has increased dramatically on the reservation.

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