One driver was killed and the passengers in both vehicles were injured when another driver rear-ended a car that had been stopped at a red light on University Road in Spokane Valley. The driver who caused the crash fled the scene when police arrived but was located and arrested nearby soon afterward.

‘High Rate of Speed’

The crash, which happened around 11:30 p.m. on December 5, shut down University Road around the intersection with Broadway. A passenger car was stopped at a light heading north on University and had just begun moving after the light turned green when a large pickup truck, said by witnesses to be moving at a “high rate of speed,” hit it from behind. The driver of the car was killed in the crash, and two passengers, one in each vehicle, suffered minor injuries.

Fled, but Tracked Down

When police arrived and started talking to the people involved to understand what had happened, the driver of the pickup (a thirty-nine-year-old man) reportedly fled on foot. A K-9 unit was called in and began tracking the suspect, but another officer on the lookout for the man located him about a block away and arrested him without any trouble.

The accused hit-and-run driver was taken to the Spokane County Jail and booked for vehicular homicide. If he’s ultimately found guilty, that charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The driver who caused the crash was said by Spokane Valley police to be intoxicated or impaired, but he had not yet been charged with such an offense.

Other Injuries Minor, Long Cleanup

The passengers in both the car and truck were taken to area hospitals for minor injuries—reportedly only cuts and scrapes—and were evaluated and released. Spokane Valley police kept a section of the road closed overnight for nearly eight hours as the crash scene investigation was completed.

Worrisome Trend

This particular crash might seem like an unfortunate, isolated incident, but traffic deaths have been on the rise for several years, both nationally and in Washington state. In 2016, there were a total of 537 roadway fatalities here, the most since 2007.

The speculated causes in this crash—alcohol impairment and speeding—are two of the primary reasons behind fatal crashes, accounting for 161 (30 percent) and 154 deaths (there’s overlap because both factors are involved in some crashes), respectively.

Washington fares better than the national average, but that’s a small consolation when one of our fellow citizens dies in a car wreck about once every sixteen hours.

Spokane Car Accident Lawyer

When you or someone close to you has been harmed in a motor vehicle crash, it’s important to work with the right law firm when you seek compensation. The attorneys at Craig Swapp & Associates have extensive experience with automobile accident law. Whether a collision involves a rear-end impact, a drunk driver, speeding, or any other factor, we’ve seen it and have probably helped a victim of that kind of crash recover compensation.

We offer every client a free consultation. Give us a call today at 1-800-404-9000 or fill out our contact form to schedule yours.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp