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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Field reports: Bike laws weak in protecting walkers

TRAILS – Readers had lingering questions, and so the The Spokesman-Review, about last Sunday’s story about a woman who was struck from behind by a bicyclist as she walked on the Spokane River Centennial Trail.

The Spokane Police Department told Virginia Pearsall, 67, that no charges would be filed against the cyclist who knocked her to the ground in the Sept. 22 incident in which she suffered bruising and a fractured elbow.

“Pedestrians have the right of way and at the very least he should have slowed down,” she said.

Officer Josh Laiva, Spokane Police Department spokesman, said Pearsall can make her case in a civil suit against 44-year-old cyclist Justin Haller, who also was injured in the incident. Pearsall said she is considering a suit.

“There were no criminal charges to pursue on that issue,” Lavia said after being contacted by The Spokesman-Review for an explanation.

“Our officer took an incident report,” Laivia said. “The incident occurred on a trail, not a roadway and the woman was struck by a bicycle, not a motor vehicle. In addition, it doesn’t appear to be an intentional act. So at this time, no criminal charges are being pursued.”

While a civil court might rule one way or the other, “criminality doesn’t enter into it under any of the crime codes,” Laiva said.

Police have to look at the circumstances surrounding the event in determining whether to file charges, he said.

“It’s likely the bike rider in this case made some poor decisions, but it’s still ultimately an accident,” he said. “If it’s not willful and intentional, we can’t charge someone with assault.”

Also, he said, rules of the road on who has the right-of-way don’t necessarily apply on a trail.

“If the incident had happened on a roadway, it may be a different story from the police point of view, but we would have to take the totality of the circumstances into account.”

Kalispel Tribe funded

for caribou facility

ENDANGERED – The Kalispel Tribe is going to take another shot at restoring endangered Selkirk mountain caribou with a $96,000 grant for a maternal penning project.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant along with other funding the tribe has obtained will be used to assist in the capture of caribou cows and newborn calves for placement in special pens built to protect them from predators, the Tribe says in a release.

Fewer than a dozen caribou remain in the South Selkirk population. The tribe calls the project “a last ditch/stop gap measure to prevent the extirpation of these animals.”

Hanford Reach anglers

boost salmon spawning

FISHING – More salmon anglers are needed Oct. 27-29, to catch big Hanford Reach chinook and transfer them live to biologists who will take the eggs and milt for hatchery production.

Although the big chinooks are getting ripe, fishing success continues to be good in the stretch of the Columbia River downstream from Priest Rapids Dam.

The annual King of the Reach Project is organized to collect live adult wild fall chinook by hook and line based out of the Vernita and White Bluffs boat launches.

These fish will be used for the production of 5.6 million fall chinook juvenile salmon to be released at Priest Rapids Hatchery in June of 2018.

Last year’s King of the Reach was Dell Burton, who caught 35 chinook.

Anglers must register at the collection site each day prior to fishing, either at the Vernita or the White Bluffs (Wahluke) boat launch.

Participants can fish for a few hours or all three days, but only anglers registered for the Project will be allowed to fish this area of the Columbia River and no harvest is permitted in the closed waters.

All adult wild fall chinook captured must be immediately transported alive back to the boat launch. Boats will need to be equipped with a live well or large ice chest that can be used as a holding area while transporting the fish back to the launch.

Participants are encouraged to register online for the CCA King of the Reach Derby.

The state Fish and Wildlife Department, Grant County PUD and the Coastal Conservation Association will have volunteers at the boat launches to register anglers and collect donated chinook.


Experts detail gear

for backcountry skiing

WINTERSPORTS –A free program spotlighting gear skiers will need in the transition from inbounds slopes to the winter backcountry will be presented by representatives from G3 (Genuine Guide Gear) and Scarpa at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, at Mountain Gear’s retail store, 2002 N. Division St. in Spokane.

A silent auction will benefit the Northwest Avalanche Center, said Phil Bridgers, Mountain Gear events coordinator.

RSVP online at