Julie Humphreys, 509.622.5868
Friday, July 31, 2020 at 12:15 p.m.
In less than seven hours on Tuesday night, Spokane Police Officers responded to an unusually large number of DUI related crashes and incidents, one of them resulting in a fatality.
On Tuesday, July 28, 2020, Spokane Police Officers were kept unusually busy by a rash of incidents involving intoxicated drivers. The first call came in just after 5:30pm at the intersection of 3rd Ave and Ash St. Multiple callers advised a vehicle had driven into an electrical pole at the location. Officers responded and determined the 62 year old female driver was intoxicated. She was transported to a local hospital for treatment of injuries from the crash.
The next call came in just before 8:00pm at the intersection of Perry and Indiana. A minivan going north on Perry, went to turn west on Indiana and was struck by an SUV headed south on Perry. The SUV fled southbound and was later found abandoned south of Mission Park. The driver of that vehicle is still outstanding. An unrestrained male occupant of the minivan was ejected and, despite the efforts of first responders and medical staff, succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital. The driver of the minivan, Joyce Ford (63) was booked into Spokane County Jail for Vehicular Homicide.
Just before 11:00pm, an officer stopped an erratic driver at Five Mile and Stratton. The officer noted some of the worst driving he’d ever witnessed and was surprised the driver had not already crashed. Jake Sladky (24) was booked into Spokane County jail for DUI.
At around 11:30pm, a hit and run crash came in at Rockwood and 9th. Witnesses reported the driver hit a parked car, appeared intoxicated, then left southbound on foot without exchanging information. Officers found the male, later identified as Tyson Skidmore (42), a few blocks away. He was later booked into Spokane County Jail for DUI and Hit and Run Unattended.
The last of the five incidents was called in shortly before midnight. The caller said a male had parked his car in the middle of the road in the 3500 block of east 17th. The caller was concerned by the males behavior and believed he was intoxicated. Officers arrived a few minutes later and arrested Travis Pell (32) on suspicion of DUI.
A DUI arrest alone ties up a number of resources and yet, is completely preventable. Tack on another DUI arrest, a non-injury DUI collision, an injury DUI collision, and a fatality DUI collision, and the patrol resources available to handle emergency calls of any other kind are stretched very thin. Following the fatality crash, the intersection of Perry and Indiana was closed for nearly three hours while Major Crime Collision Investigators worked to document evidence at the scene. Unfortunately, May, June, and July are when we see the highest number of fatality crashes. Please don’t drink and drive or otherwise drive impaired, wear your seatbelt, and avoid being a statistic.
Officer John O'Brien