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

1 man killed and 1 man arrested after vehicle rolls down forest ravine in Kootenai crash

May 22, 2023 Updated Mon., May 22, 2023 at 5:56 p.m.

A man was killed after his truck tumbled down a ravine on a country road Sunday afternoon in the Coeur d’Alene National Forest, according to a release from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.

Witnesses told first responders that the truck went down the ravine about 400 feet after a head-on collision with another truck at about 3:20 p.m., the release said.

Donald Phelan, 83, of Coeur d’Alene, was traveling eastbound along Fernan Lake Road, about a mile east of the Fernan Rod and Gun Club, in his 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 when he collided with a 2016 Ford F150, driven by 32-year-old Mark Bruzas of Spokane Valley.

Pelham was pronounced dead at the scene.

Bruzas showed signs of being under the influence after a field sobriety test and was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter.

Fernan Lake Road closed for much of Monday as authorities collected evidence. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office asked anyone with additional information about the collision to contact the traffic unit at (208) 446-2271 or by email at

The collision marks the fourth fatal crash the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office traffic unit has investigated in the past two months, the sheriff’s office said.

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