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Four killed, five injured in string of car wrecks

From Staff Reports

Four people were killed and four were injured in car wrecks around the Inland Northwest since Wednesday.

• Ling Yuan, 50, and Jianxue Zhou, 52, were killed when the car they were riding in hit a dump truck head-on Friday afternoon on U.S. Highway 95 near Sandpoint. Yun Zhou, 27, of Seattle, was driving south on Highway 95 when she attempted to pass a southbound semi, according to the Idaho State Police. A northbound car swerved to avoid hitting Zhou, who then hit a northbound dump truck that had been behind the car. The dump truck then slid into a van.

The two passengers were taken to Kootenai Health by Life Flight, where Yuan was pronounced dead. Jianxue Zhou was transferred to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, where he was pronounced dead. Yun Zhou was taken to Kootenai Health.

The other drivers were not injured. Five children in the van hit by the sliding dump truck were in child safety seats and were unharmed.

• Thursday, Coeur d’Alene resident Joan C. Sanders, 75, died when the car she was driving hit a tree near Priest Lake.

Sanders, who was wearing a seat belt, was driving north on state Highway 57 near Priest Lake at 2:47 p.m. when she drove her 2015 Subaru Forester off the right-hand shoulder and hit a tree, according to an ISP news release.

A Life Flight helicopter took Sanders to Newport Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

• A Florida man was killed in a car crash around 9 p.m. Wednesday on Interstate 90 east of Ritzville.

Kenneth D. Kautto, 67, of Cape Coral, Florida, was driving west at a “slow rate,” the Washington State Patrol reported. His 2014 Nissan 4-door was hit from behind by a 2012 Kenworth semitruck driven by William D. Oblak, 35, of Las Vegas.

Kautto was declared dead at the scene. Oblak was not injured. Both were wearing seat belts. No charges are pending.

• A slowdown caused by a dog on eastbound Interstate 90 in Post Falls Thursday night caused a three-car pileup that sent one man to the hospital.

Justin Adams, 38 of Albany, Oregon, was driving east in a 2003 GMC Yukon when he was rear-ended by Dillon Beaver, 20, of Post Falls, a news release from the ISP reported. The collision caused Adams’ car to be pushed into a 2006 Ford Escape driven by Russell Trump, 61, of Yoncalla, Oregon. Only Beaver was injured. He was taken to Kootenai Health, where he was listed in good condition on Friday.

• Paul G. Larsen, 71, of North Las Vegas, was injured Thursday in a car crash.

Larsen was headed south on state Highway 3 near St. Maries. He was driving a 2007 Mercury Sable when he lost control on a turn and went off the northern embankment.

Larsen and his two passengers, Dannie D. Waddell, of Hurricane, Utah, and Lea W. Larsen, of North Las Vegas, were taken to Benewah General Hospital, according to the ISP. All were treated and released, according to the hospital.

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