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Friday, October 23, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Driver’s brother sentenced earlier

From Staff Reports

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to reflect the relationship between the driver and the man sentenced earlier.

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.

Tonia S. Vansant, 37, appeared Monday in Superior Court charged with three counts of vehicular assault. According to court records, Vansant smelled of alcohol and had poor coordination, leading investigators to believe she had been drinking prior to the crash.

Her brother, 44-year-old Richard Vansant, was ordered last week to serve five years in prison after fellow BNSF employees in 2008 found his iPod on a train and discovered thousands of child pornography images. It’s unclear whether the federal sentencing had any connection to Friday’s car crash.

Meanwhile, Spokane police said the injured detectives have been released from the hospital. They were identified Monday as Mark Burbridge, Jan Pogachar and Doug Orr, all of whom were on duty when Tonia Vansant crashed into their car.

Burbridge suffered a severely strained back. Pogachar suffered a broken pelvis. Orr, according to court records, suffered the worst injuries. He was riding in the back seat and suffered broken ribs, a broken collarbone, a fractured sternum and a punctured lung.

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