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Friday, February 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Driver injured in collision with Stevens County police SUV

Charges may be filed over failure to yield

A man driving a pickup was seriously injured Thursday afternoon in a collision in Stevens County with a Kettle Falls police SUV.

Kettle Falls police Officer Timothy D. Dollar, 56, was headed north with his emergency lights flashing as he passed cars by driving in the southbound lane about 4 miles north of Chewelah, the Washington State Patrol reported in a news release. Dollar was attempting to pull over a slow driver who was holding back a line of traffic, the WSP said.

Dollar struck one of the vehicles he was trying to pass, a 2010 Chevy pickup, when the pickup’s driver, Thomas R. Preston, 86, attempted to make a left turn about 4:15 p.m.

Preston, a Chewelah resident, was listed in serious condition at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center on Friday.

Dollar was treated at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chewelah and released around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Kettle Falls police Chief Chris Courchene said.

Courchene said Dollar needed stitches in his head and was “banged up pretty good” but didn’t have any broken bones.

Both men were wearing seat belts.

After the accident, Courchene said, community members stopped to talk to Dollar and keep him calm until help arrived.

They “were right there and they jumped right in,” he said. “It was just nice to see people stop and willing to help because we don’t always see that.”

The WSP said the collision was caused by Preston’s failure to yield right of way, and charges may be filed.

Dollar is an eight-year veteran of the Kettle Falls Police Department and was previously with Colville police, Courchene said.

He plans to be back at work on Tuesday.

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