A head-on collision at the intersection of North Division Street and West Francis Avenue sent three people to the hospital Thursday morning, the Spokane Police Department said. About an hour after the initial crash, a pedestrian was hit in the partially closed intersection, sustaining minor injuries.
A red Ford Expedition traveling south on Division ran the light at Francis at about 9:40 a.m., hitting a pest control truck turning off Francis, Officer Trevor Nollmeyer with the Spokane Police Department Traffic Unit said. The Expedition then continued south, hitting a sedan and an SUV head-on.
Police requested a drug- recognition expert to look for the possibility of impairment, Officer John O’Brien said. The crash is still under investigation, O’Brien said.
Three people were sent to the hospital, one with significant injuries and the other two with injuries that weren’t life-threatening Nollmeyer said.
After the initial crash, the intersection was partially shut down and a pedestrian attempting to cross the street was hit by an oncoming car, Nollmeyer said. She sustained minor injuries.
“Traffic investigators are here using their 3D scan and looking at evidence that was left behind,” O’Brien said from the scene.
The intersection reopened at about 2:30 p.m.
O’Brien encouraged drivers to focus on the road when passing accidents, construction or closures.
“It’s a very natural reaction for people to want to rubberneck when they drive by a collision,” O’Brien said. “Do your best not to rubberneck and at least not gawk for a long time; stay focused on the road and the task at hand.”
Employees at nearby businesses said the intersection is extremely dangerous.
“People are not being careful as they fly by here,” said Justin LeDoux at The Floor Trader Outlet .
LeDoux said many of the store’s truck drivers avoid the intersection by taking back roads to reach the store’s loading area.
“It’s out of control,” LeDoux said. “No exaggeration, 60 mph flying through here to beat the traffic light. It’s stupid. Somebody is going to get hit.”
While LeDoux said seeing the intersection shut down is rare, employees at the store see two to three accidents a week in the area.
LeDoux said he hopes the eventual completion of the North-South Freeway will help relieve congestion in the area. Until then, he said, it’s a dangerous place to drive.
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