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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Detectives injured in crash

Driver of other vehicle arrested for assault

Tonia S. Vansant, 38, was convicted of three counts of vehicular assault for this July 16 crash at Division Street and Sharp Avenue. Three Spokane police detectives were injured. (Mike Prager / The Spokesman-Review)

Three Spokane police detectives were recovering from broken bones and internal injuries after their unmarked vehicle was struck broadside at Division Street and Sharp Avenue on Friday morning.

The officers’ injuries were serious but not life-threatening, said Officer Teresa Fuller, a police spokeswoman.

Two of the detectives who were passengers in the vehicle – a man and a woman – were being treated at a Spokane hospital Friday afternoon. The male detective who was driving was expected to be released on Friday.

The most seriously injured officer is the male passenger, who was in the back seat.

A woman driving the second vehicle was arrested for three counts of vehicular assault after investigating officers determined that she apparently had been drinking, Fuller said.

She has been identified as 37-year-old Tonia S. Vansant, of Spokane Valley. She was not injured, police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said in a news release.

Vansant was being held at Spokane County Jail Friday afternoon. According to Washington State Patrol records, Vansant was convicted in 2005 of second-degree theft, hit and run, theft of gasoline, resisting arrest and bail jumping.

The detectives were headed east on Sharp, and witnesses reported that they had a green light to proceed across the intersection at Division, Fuller said.

A red sport utility vehicle driven by the woman was headed south and crashed into the side of the officers’ sedan at 7:15 a.m., causing the police vehicle to spin around and come to rest facing the opposite direction of its travel and along a sidewalk at the southeast corner of Division and Sharp.

Division was closed to traffic for several hours. It reopened before noon.

The detectives’ names were not released Friday.

Fuller said she did not know the purpose of the officers’ trip.

The injury accident was the second involving police in a little more than two weeks.

On July 1, motorcycle Officer Tyler Cordis suffered serious injuries when an impaired driver struck a telephone pole, causing the pole to land on him and knock him off his motorcycle.

Susan L. Troyer, who struck the pole, was arrested on charges of vehicular assault and felony hit and run.

“The Spokane Police Department appreciates the outpouring of care and concern for our injured police officers,” DeRuwe said, adding that members of law enforcement were finding it difficult to have so many officers injured in such a short period of time.

Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick visited each of the injured officers Friday in the hospital.