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

Dutch Bros. Coffee business owner, witnesses describe garbage truck crash: ‘Lives were spared by a miracle’

Two people were taken to a hospital Friday after a dump truck slammed into a Dutch Bros. Coffee drive-thru and another business at Fourth Avenue and Freya Street on Friday.  (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Copious debris and the sound of “metal-on-metal grinding” were some of the descriptors used in court records to recount the destruction caused when a dump truck barreled through six vehicles, an insurance office and a Spokane coffee stand Friday on South Freya Street.

McGavin O. Medrain was charged Friday with one count of vehicular assault. The 48-year-old, who appeared in court Monday, was remanded to the Spokane County Jail on $250,000 bond.

Seven people were taken to the hospital after the crash, which saw the truck drive into the Dutch Bros. Coffee stand on South Freya Street.

Chelsea Ross, an employee at the South Freya Street stand, suffered a hip fracture, according to court records. She was transported to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center by ambulance.

Kevin Parker, owner of the Dutch Bros. Coffee franchise in Spokane, said in a Facebook post Sunday that two employees were hospitalized, including one who went through extensive surgery. Parker did not immediately return a request for comment Monday.

Parker wrote while he was told the surgery went well, “there is a long road ahead.”

“There is no question losing a stand is a blow, but frankly it (pales) in comparison when considering multiple lives were spared by a miracle yesterday,” he said. “We have counseling available for the staff and are intentional about getting time with them to process the trauma they experienced from this very senseless and careless act.”

In his post, Parker indicated his daughter was among the employees in the coffee stand at the time of the crash.

‘Tons of debris’

Witnesses who saw the crash from a few blocks south of the Dutch Bros. Coffee stand told authorities the dump truck traveled along South Freya Street “at a high rate of speed.”

South Freya Street is a northbound one-way street. The truck reportedly weaved in and out of traffic, striking several vehicles just past East Fifth Avenue before veering west across the street, according to court records. The truck then drove through an insurance office before striking the Dutch Bros.

One northbound driver along South Freya near East Fourth Avenue described how she “slammed” her brakes to avoid the dump truck, which then sideswiped a Ford F-150, according to court records. Police said the Ford sustained significant damage to the driver’s side, while the two occupants suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.

Court documents describe how another northbound driver turned onto East Fifth Avenue to avoid the dump truck. As she turned, the driver “observed the Dutch Bros appear to explode and tons of debris go all over the place,” according to court records.

Witnesses reportedly helped free a number of people trapped inside a vehicle that was pinned between the coffee shop and the truck.

Medrain was sitting across the street when he was approached by a Spokane police officer, according to court records. The officer reported Medrain was found with various small cuts on his arms and legs as well as dried blood nearly covering his body.

A state trooper who spoke with Medrain conducted a field sobriety test, determining the dump truck driver was intoxicated on an unknown substance.

The Dutch Bros. building was torn down the day of the crash.

Spokane firefighters responded around 2:40 p.m. Monday to a reported rubble fire at the site.

Spokane fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said the small fire was attended to by a single engine. Uncertain on what might have caused the fire to start, Schaeffer said smaller fires in debris piles are not uncommon.