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

100 years ago in Spokane: Courtroom hears details of deadly drunken driving, streetcar crash

Prosecutors argued that P. Clive Heddle had several drinks of liquor before racing up to 60 mph along Northwest Boulevard and crashing into a streetcar, killing three of his passengers.  (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

P. Clive Heddle was on trial in Superior Court after one of the deadliest drunken driving incidents in Spokane’s history.

Prosecutors said they would set out to prove that Heddle took several drinks of liquor, from several bottles of moonshine, before leaving a Seven Mile dance hall with a car full of eight young people. Prosecutors would also try to prove that Heddle was racing at 50-60 mph on Northwest Boulevard when the terrible accident occurred.

Three passengers in the car died when the car crashed head-on into a streetcar.

One of the surviving passengers testified that Heddle had been drinking before they left for the dance hall, and drank more at the dance hall. He also testified that Heddle was racing another car when the crash occurred.

He said that he and another passenger asked Heddle to slow down, but he did not.

A “sensation” was created in the courtroom when a prosecutor said that he would show that Heddle “demanded money from one of the woman occupants of his car immediately after the accident, while the woman was in a dazed condition.”

From the beach beat: Coeur d’Alene hired a policewoman to patrol the beaches during the upcoming summer season.

The purpose? “To look after the general welfare of women and girls.”

She would also patrol the city’s dance halls.