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

Deputies: Woman dies after crash where driver pretended to be passerby

A woman is dead and a man is facing a charge of vehicular manslaughter after crashing his SUV but pretending to be a witness to the incident, Spokane County deputies said.

Cpl. Mark Gregory said the crash happened just after 3 a.m. Saturday on the 200 block of North Government Way.

The driver of the GMC Yukon had driven it off the road, and someone called 911 to report a woman was still inside the vehicle unresponsive, Gregory said. But when deputies got there, they found Christopher E. Dodson, a 39-year-old who told them “the driver” had run north on Government Way, Gregory said.

Dodson elaborated to a deputy that he was walking to Airway Heights when he witnessed the crash, ran after the driver to try to stop him, then went to check on the woman in the Yukon and waved down a passerby to call 911, deputies said.

The deputy noticed Dodson was limping and swaying during their conversation, then saw that his hands were bleeding and he had tiny shards of broken glass on his pants and sweatshirt, Gregory said.

Deputies ran Dodson’s name and found he had an active misdemeanor warrant out for his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence, and that his driving privileges had been suspended, Gregory said.

Dodson declined medical attention and was arrested for the warrant, but deputies later determined he was also the driver of the Yukon, with keys that appeared to match the vehicle in his pocket, Gregory said.

They added new recommended charges of vehicular assault and driving while suspended against Dodson. But Gregory said when deputies found out Sunday night that the victim had died, they recommended a charge of vehicular manslaughter instead of assault.

The victim’s identity hasn’t been released.