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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Woman, child found dead after home fire

A woman and her 2-year-old child were found dead Saturday afternoon after a blaze burned the motor home where they lived in Elk.

Firefighters responded to the fire at 13212 E. Blanchard St. in north Spokane County about 1:09 p.m. Crews were still at the scene late Saturday conducting an investigation.

“What we’re doing is meticulously going over the scene to determine the cause,” said Pat Humphries, District 4 spokesman.

It was unclear if the woman and child died as a result of the fire.

Officials had not released the name of the 23-year-old woman or the toddler. It did not appear anyone else was injured in the fire, which destroyed the 30-foot motor home and a nearby barn. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

“It’s a very unfortunate, very tragic situation,” Fire Chief Ed Lewis said. “We’re going to be here all night.”

Chelsea Bannach

Driver jailed after truck strikes, injures teen

The new year started badly for one Spokane Valley teenager.

Cody Washburn, 18, was seriously injured after being struck by a Dodge pickup truck whose driver fled the scene in the vehicle about 3:15 a.m. Saturday, said Spokane Valley police.

Washburn was walking on Fourth Avenue between Adams and Progress roads. He suffered a fractured back and internal bleeding; he was in satisfactory condition Saturday at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.

The truck’s license plate fell off in the impact, and officers found the driver, Steven A. Black, 42, at his home in the 1800 block of Trent Avenue in Spokane Valley.

Police said he exhibited signs of intoxication when they found him about 25 minutes after the crash and learned his 10-year-old son was in the vehicle at the time of the collision.

Black was booked into Spokane County Jail on one count of felony hit and run, police said. Depending on results of toxicology tests, he could be charged with felony vehicular assault.

Chelsea Bannach

Icy weather blamed for rail delays, closings

SEATTLE – A Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman said icy weather backed up trains on New Year’s Day and forced it to halt Amtrak service on its tracks across Montana and North Dakota.

BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas said traffic was slowed by snow, freezing temperatures and winds that pushed wind chills into the minus-20s and lower.

He said freight trains were still running but at slower speeds. Crews also had to remove snow from tracks and work on switches to keep them from freezing up.

Amtrak spokeswoman Christina Leeds said passenger trains will run between Seattle and Whitefish, Mont., and Chicago and St. Paul, Minn., but not at points in between. She said passengers who had hoped to ride the full route will have the option to return to their point of origin.

Associated Press

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