Corporal N. Briggs #1177
Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 2:56 a.m.
Despite the efforts of citizens, first responders, and hospital medical staff, the pedestrian involved succumbed to their injuries. Mr. Findley’s charge has been amended to vehicular homicide. The investigation is on-going.
Serious collision on Sunset Hwy sends one to hospital with life-threatening injuries. Traffic revision results in other police incidents.
On 11-14-2020 at approximately 1930 hours, SPD responded to a vehicle versus pedestrian collision at Sunset Hwy and Cannon St in Spokane’s Browne’s addition. An adult male was struck at the location and sustained life-threatening injuries. The driver of the vehicle involved was operated by 24-year-old Robert Findley. The investigation indicated Findley was impaired; he was subsequently arrested for vehicular assault.
Significant traffic collision scenes require time-intensive investigations. This is due to the multitude of steps needed to conduct a thorough investigation which includes collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and having specialists digitally map the scenes. Due to this investigation Sunset Hwy between Cannon St and Coeur D’ Alene St was closed for several hours.
When streets are closed SPD uses a number of methods to communicate the closure. During this incident that included large reflective portable barriers, glowing red road flares, and police vehicles parked perpendicular to the road with emergency lights activated. The vast majority of motorists were able to interpret the signs correctly; a couple were not.
A motorist ran over the barricades on the West side of the collision scene. The knocked over barricades were mangled and strewn in the street, and a moment later another vehicle ran over the debris puncturing its gas tank, tying up both Police and SFD resources.
As a tow truck was tending to the vehicle with the ruptured fuel tank, another vehicle proceeded East on Sunset Hwy towards the collision scene. That vehicle drove around the barricades, around the marked police vehicle with emergency lights flashing, and towards the area where investigators were processing the original scene. That driver was slow to yield, but was eventually stopped. An adult male was subsequently arrested for DUI, and processing showed the subject had a blood alcohol content of about two-and-a-half times the legal limit.
Unexpected traffic revisions aren’t pleasant for anyone, but we appreciate the vast majority of motorists being attentive and allowing crews to complete their work. We don’t like shutting roads down and inconveniencing the motoring public, but know that if we do it is to facilitate providing life-saving measures and complete a thorough investigation. Attentiveness to road closures increases safety for everyone.
Officer John O'Brien