Spokane police arrested a woman Friday after she allegedly hijacked an idling car, pushed a passenger out and drove off with a dog in the car. The suspect crashed on westbound Interstate 90 near the Altamont exit, but no one was injured.
The suspect, Marie A. Henning, 33, allegedly stole the car at 3:30 p.m. in the 3500 block of East Ben Burr Boulevard, said Officer Teresa Fuller, Spokane police spokeswoman.
The victim, Heavyn Fletcher, 16, was sitting in the passenger seat of a 2011 Honda CRV when Henning allegedly pushed her out and took off with her dog, Nova, a 15-month-old pitbull mix, she said.
“I was scared,” she said. “But I was more scared for Nova.”
Fletcher said Henning made eye contact with her, but didn’t say anything. She physically pushed Fletcher out of the car, but Fletcher wasn’t hurt.
Fletcher ran inside the house to her mom, Diane Fletcher, who sprinted out to chase the car before falling in the driveway, she said.
Diane Fletcher said she “saw such a look of fear” on Henning’s face before Henning fled in the stolen car.
Henning drove the car to Interstate 90, heading west, at a high rate of speed, according to Fuller. She allegedly “barely missed crashing into a large pickup truck, but then ran into two other vehicles before crashing into the barrier in the center of the freeway.”
The crash, at about 4 p.m., caused traffic to back up on I-90, but no one was hurt, said Trooper Jeff Sevigney, Washington State Patrol spokesman.
Witnesses of the crash kept Henning from fleeing while police arrived, Fuller said.
Nova was in the CRV, which was totaled, Diane Fletcher said. Nova was uninjured apart from a small cut on one foot. Nova ran from the car, but a victim in the crash corralled the dog until police reunited her with the Fletchers.
Police officers drove Heavyn to the scene to identify Henning and to fetch Nova.
Henning is facing charges for alleged first-degree robbery, theft of a motor vehicle and reckless driving. She will appear in Spokane County Superior Court on Monday.
Diane Fletcher said she’s planning on filing charges against Henning.
“I thank God,” Diane said. “(Henning) could have easily drove off with Heavyn in the car. She could have ran over the dog with the car.”
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