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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane Valley Fire roundup: Driver arrested after hit-and-run where stolen BMW slammed into school bus

By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

A hit-and-run crash heavily damaged a school bus and injured the bus driver on Nov. 22 in Otis Orchards, but there were no children in the bus when it flipped on its side and skidded into a yard in the 21000 block of East Wellesley Avenue.

The call came in to the Spokane Valley Fire Department at 8:42 a.m. as an extrication. However, when crews arrived from their fire station just down the street the bus driver was able to get out of the rear emergency exit with the assistance of firefighters, said department spokeswoman Julie Happy. He was taken to a local hospital to be treated for his injuries.

The driver had finished his bus route and was returning to the East Valley School District bus barn when he was hit by a speeding BMW. The driver of the car left the scene on foot after the crash. The white BMW had been stolen from the 5100 block of North Tiara Court only minutes before the crash, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Later that day at about 1:30 p.m., a resident in the 21100 block of East Wellesley Avenue reported a man was knocking on her back door. Deputies arrived and arrested 30-year-old Jeffrey S. Schelin on suspicion of stealing the BMW and causing the crash. He had apparently been hiding in a shed in the resident’s backyard, the sheriff’s office said. He was taken to a local hospital to be treated for injuries he suffered in the crash.

Schelin has a lengthy criminal history. The new charges he faces are possession of a stolen vehicle, second-degree burglary, hit and run, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license.

Other calls Nov. 22-28

Nov. 22: Members of the Rescue Task Force responded to the 13600 block of East Third Avenue at 3:18 p.m. to stand by as the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team attempted to get a man to surrender. The task force was not needed.

Nov. 23: Members of the Rescue Task Force responded to the19100 block of East Marietta Avenue at 1:12 p.m. to assist the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team with a call involving an armed barricaded suspect. The task force was not needed. A fire was reported in a storage unit facility in the 16100 block of East Sprague Avenue at 9 p.m. The fire had spread to several units by the time crews arrived. Firefighters had to cut the doors open on several units in order to get inside, unload the units and make sure the fire was out. A fire was reported behind the Sherwin-Williams paint store in the 300 block of North Sullivan Road at 10:20 p.m. Crews found a man standing next to a pile of burning pallets, watching the fire. The fire was put out before the flames spread to the building or to the dozens of pallets stacked nearby. The man was arrested on suspicion of arson.

Nov. 24: Crews were called to the 12200 block of East 18th Avenue at 1:06 p.m. on a report of a child with his hand stuck inside a toy. The crew used Vaseline to lubricate his hand, which slid out of the toy. A report that a vehicle had hit a wall in the area of Sprague Avenue and Havana Street came in at 2:18 p.m. A traffic signal pole was damaged in the crash.

Nov. 27: Crews were called to a possible illegal fire in the 8400 of East Alki Avenue at 4:54 p.m. Instead, they found a woman suffering from a psychological issue.

Nov. 28: A two-vehicle crash was reported in the area of Mission Avenue and Sullivan Road at 2:18 p.m. One of the cars flipped and landed on its top in the turn lane.

By the numbers: Crews responded to 377 calls the week of Nov. 22-28, including 315 calls for emergency medical services. Additional responses include 17 car crashes, a woman who accidentally locked herself on her apartment balcony and a report of a chimney fire that turned out to be false.

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