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Kootenai County deputy not at fault in death of pedestrian on Highway 95

Jan. 20, 2017 Updated Fri., Jan. 20, 2017 at 8:12 p.m.

A Kootenai County Deputy who hit and killed a woman crossing Highway 95 in October was not at fault, an investigation by the Idaho State Police and the Kootenai County Prosecutor determined.

Amber Viuhkola was intoxicated and crossing the darkened highway near the intersection of Miles Avenue and Highway 95 where there was no pedestrian crossing, the ISP said. Deputy Andrew Nye was driving south in the right lane at the time of the accident on Oct. 8.

Viuhkola had just left Razzle’s Bar and Grill after having a fight with her husband, according to ISP. Her husband drove next to her, trying to convince her to get into his truck, but she refused. He continued to drive next to her as she began crossing the northbound lanes of the highway, likely blocking her from the view of approaching southbound traffic. He continued on through the intersection before his wife was hit.

The investigation determined that Nye was driving 57 miles per hour in the 55 mph zone.

Prosecutor Barry McHugh wrote in his findings that Nye was not negligent or reckless and that Viuhkola “walked in front of Deputy Nye’s vehicle without hesitation.”

“Deputy Nye did not see Ms. Viuhkola before she walked out in front of his vehicle,” McHugh wrote. “Other witnesses indicated Deputy Nye did not have time to react when Ms. Viuhkola moved in front of his vehicle.”

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