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Saturday, August 24, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Two injured in four-vehicle pileup on Freya Way bridge

UPDATED: Fri., June 21, 2019, 6:54 p.m.

Spokane police say a man suspected of being under the influence of drugs caused a four-vehicle pileup on the Freya Way overpass near Spokane Community College on Friday morning.

The crash, which occurred on the bridge over train tracks between Mission Avenue and Alki Avenue, sent two people to hospitals with serious injuries, including 29-year-old suspect Thandan M. Hammel.

Sgt. Terry Preuninger, spokesman for the Spokane Police Department, said Hammel, driving a white pickup, was northbound on Freya when he crossed the center median and collided with a Honda sedan. The Honda then hit a 1996 Chevy Blazer.

“The dude jumped a curb,” said Ted Sanders, who was driving the Blazer. “But I’m OK.”

The driver continued northbound and hit a large flatbed truck. The truck’s driver missed being crushed by inches, said Preuninger.

The white pickup eventually stopped in the southbound lanes after striking the concrete wall of the Freya bridge. Hammel was trapped inside and was extricated by firefighters. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital with serious injuries.

The driver of the Honda also was transported to a hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Freya southbound was closed for several hours.

Hammel faces a charge of vehicular assault and possessing suboxone, a drug often used to curb opioid addiction.

Last month, a man speeding in the northbound lane of Freya lost control of his car on the same curve, striking the raised median and landing in the southbound lanes, where he struck a Toyota Camry. The driver of the Camry was injured and taken to a hospital.

Police suspected drugs or alcohol also played a factor in that collision.

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