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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Teenagers identified in Spokane Valley crash that left one dead; driver charged

UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 28, 2022

One teen is dead and two were injured in a Spokane Valley car crash earlier this week. The car they were riding in is shown after rolling, spinning and then hitting a large pine tree.  (Courtesy Spokane Valley Fire Department)
One teen is dead and two were injured in a Spokane Valley car crash earlier this week. The car they were riding in is shown after rolling, spinning and then hitting a large pine tree. (Courtesy Spokane Valley Fire Department)

The three teenagers involved in a fatal single-vehicle crash early Sunday morning in Spokane Valley were identified in court documents.

Bryce P. Adame, an 18-year-old backseat passenger, died at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center a few hours after the crash, the documents said.

Adame suffered a broken leg, head trauma and organ damage.

Landen A. Best, the 17-year-old driver, is charged with vehicular homicide and vehicular assault, according to documents. A deputy had reasons to believe Best was under the influence of marijuana. Best was taken to the Spokane County Juvenile Detention Center after his release from Sacred Heart.

Alexis Mitchell, a front seat passenger, also was taken to Sacred Heart with numerous injuries. She was in stable condition as of Thursday afternoon, according to Sacred Heart.

Best was driving a 2012 Kia Optima around 12:30 a.m. Sunday southbound on South Bowdish Road, according to documents. A detective alleged that Best failed to stop at the stop sign at East 16th Avenue and then the Kia bottomed out on the south side of the intersection.

He said South Bowdish Road has a rise in the road traveling south of East 16th, which caused the speeding vehicle to scrape the roadway. He said the Kia would not have bottomed out had it not been speeding through the intersection.

Mitchell, 19, told a deputy she estimated Best was traveling 40 mph in the 35 mph zone.

After bottoming out, the detective said Best lost control of the vehicle as it started to spin. The Kia crossed over the double yellow centerline as it continued to spin and left the shoulder of the roadway, the detective said in the documents.

The Kia went into the front yard of 1621 S. Bowdish Road, where the it struck large landscape boulders and overturned “in a passenger-side rollover event.” The vehicle then struck a large pine tree in the yard of 1707 S. Bowdish Road, the detective said in the documents.

The documents said the Kia came to rest on its side. The vehicle traveled about 275 feet from the first tire spin marks until final impact with the tree.

All three teenagers were extricated from the Kia.

Best told Deputy Garrett Spencer, a certified drug recognition expert, in the back of an ambulance that he was not sure what happened and he repeatedly asked if his passengers were OK, according to documents.

The deputy noted that Best’s eyes were bloodshot and watery.

The deputy saw a tote with a large amount of marijuana in it outside the crashed vehicle, documents said.

At Sacred Heart, Best told Spencer he was on his way to a “kick back” somewhere in Spokane and that he was driving from Cheney. He said he picked up his friend, Adame, in the area of 10th Avenue and University Road in Spokane Valley before the crash.

According to court documents, Best told Spencer he smokes marijuana just about every day and he usually waits an hour before he drives. Since he is under 21, he is not allowed to have any THC in his system while driving, documents said.

Spencer conducted a few tests on Best while he was in the hospital to determine impairment and believed he was impaired by cannabis.

Best is scheduled for an arraignment Tuesday in Spokane County Juvenile Court.

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