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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Man dies after unreported Spokane Valley car crash still under investigation

UPDATED: Fri., Dec. 13, 2019

A man who police previously said was left at the scene of a car accident in Spokane Valley last month died from his injuries Dec. 2, but investigators are still working to determine who was driving the car when it crashed.

Peter A. Louthian, 20, was airlifted to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center from MultiCare Valley Hospital with critical injuries on Nov. 24, after he and another man were dropped off by a woman with injuries that appeared to be from a vehicle crash, court documents say.

Louthian suffered a fracture at the base of his skull and a collapsed lung in the crash, and Travis R. Elliott, 20, had glass removed from his scalp before he was released.

Deputies responded to the emergency room at MultiCare Valley Hospital at about 5 a.m., according to a news release. Louthian was unconscious, and Elliott said he did not know what happened.

Hospital staff recorded the license plate number of the car that dropped them off, and determined it belonged to Elliott’s mother. Investigators arrived at her home around 6 a.m.

Court documents say Ryan J. Elliott, 41, opened the door and admitted he was the driver of the vehicle involved in the crash: Louthian’s two-door Mazda. Investigators said he was limping and moving slowly.

Elliott said he swerved to avoid something in the road and crashed into a parked truck near East 16th Avenue and South Balfour Road, according to a news release. He said he walked away to find help but did not remember the crash or how he got home. He told investigators that Travis Elliott somehow contacted his mother, who picked him and Louthian up in another vehicle.

Elliott was arrested for felony hit-and-run because he said he was the driver of the car and did not notify law enforcement about the collision, according to court documents.

Elliott said the crash occurred near the home where he was interviewed, and investigators located an extensively damaged Mazda registered to Louthian in the 1700 block of South Balfour Road. Inside, they found a large amount of blood, according to court documents.

Deputies wrote the car traveled 100 feet while spinning, then hita 39,500-pound tow truck and rolled 3 feet upon impact. Investigators said they believed Louthian had been sitting in the back seat, based on his injuries.

Deputies did not find any 911 calls reporting the crash.

Ryan Elliott was not jailed while awaiting a Tuesday court hearing that was canceled and has not been rescheduled.

Because Ryan Elliott did not have as serious of injuries as the other two men and his statements were inconsistent with the crash scene, investigators are unsure if he was the driver, according to a search warrant.

Travis Elliott has two prior DUI convictions and told police he had a suspended driver’s license at the hospital, according to court documents.

Investigators filed a search warrant in Spokane County Superior Court to review phone records from Ryan Elliott, Travis Elliott and Travis Elliott’s mother before and after the crash.

No charges have been filed against Travis Elliott, according to court records.

Louthian graduated from Central Valley High School in 2017 and joined his family’s business working as a custom cabinetmaker after graduation, according to an obituary published in The Spokesman-Review. Louthian is survived by his parents, Pete and Erin Louthian, and his sisters, Britany O’Neill, Talyah Neal and Hannah Louthian.

“Peter had an adventurous spirit, and love for life and he enjoyed all that it had to offer,” the obituary said. “He enjoyed spending time in the mountains and lakes and would often drop in a line at one of the local lakes after work.”

The family will hold a celebration of life for Louthian at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Central Valley High School Theatre.

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