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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Marijuana

Teen driver whose car was hit by Spokane patrol car charged with DUI

A teenager whose car was struck by a Spokane police officer’s in early December was charged Jan. 12 with driving under the influence.

Officer Seth Killian ran a red light while driving south on North Ash Street the evening of Dec. 8 and crashed into a car driven by a 16-year-old boy traveling west on Maxwell Avenue, court documents say. Officers at the scene reported the teen smelled like marijuana and had bloodshot and glassy eyes. He also allegedly admitted to smoking marijuana two hours before the crash, court documents say.

Killian’s body camera video, which was released after a public records request, shows him surveying the damage on his car and discussing the crash with other officers. When another officer asks if he’s OK, Killian responds, “Yeah, I’m fine. I screwed up, man.”

Killian did not have his emergency lights on at the time of the crash, a department spokeswoman said in December. While standing in front of his car, Killian says in the video, “This thing started dinging a whole bunch and I was trying to figure out what was going on and I think I went through.” It’s unclear what he’s gesturing or referring to.

The crash is still under investigation by Spokane police. Killian was at fault in the crash, but Internal Affairs Lt. Justin Lundgren said a chain-of-command review will determine whether he could have prevented the crash.

Killian was not drug tested. Lundgren said it’s not policy to test officers involved in collisions for drug or alcohol use unless there’s reasonable suspicion to think they’re impaired. Simply being in a collision is not enough to provide that suspicion.

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