In brief: Deputies arrest wrong-way driver

April 30, 2013

Spokane County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 23-time convicted felon after a Monday morning chase through city streets and a wrong-way pursuit on Interstate 90.

A deputy spotted 47-year-old Gregory Kroetch driving a stolen maroon Ford Probe at 10:50 a.m. and tried to pull him over.

Kroetch entered I-90 near Pines Road on the eastbound ramp going the wrong direction. He exited at Broadway, then traveled east on Broadway Avenue and exited at Argonne Road, according to reports.

Deputies tried to block his car but he entered the freeway again and headed west toward the city.

Washington State Patrol troopers picked up the pursuit as Kroetch got off the freeway at Highway 195 and headed south in the northbound lanes of traffic.

Troopers used spike strips near 16th Avenue and Highway 195 to stop the car. They caught Kroetch on foot near 14th Avenue and South Loop Road.

Driver killed in early mor

A man died at a local hospital Monday morning after crashing his car into a tree in Spokane Valley.

Dustin Andrew Christensen, 37, died of trauma from the crash near East Mission Avenue and North Felts Road at 6 a.m.

Christensen was trapped in the vehicle and deputies used fire extinguishers to contain flames that erupted from the engine.

Spokane Valley firefighters arrived on scene and extinguished the flames before extricating Christensen from the car.

He was taken to a local hospital in critical condition and later died.

The release said Christensen was eastbound on Mission when he swerved across the westbound lane of traffic and struck a large tree head-on.

Alcohol may have been a contributing factor in the crash, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Teen on bicycle injured in collision

A teen bicyclist has been hospitalized with compound leg fractures after pedaling into the path of an SUV Monday afternoon.

The accident occurred at the corner of Hawthorne Road and Whittier Street. The SUV driver has not been ticketed.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office reported that the 15-year-old bicycle rider attempted to ride across Hawthorne and was struck.

Women arrested on kidnapping charge

Spokane police arrested two women suspected of second-degree kidnapping after another woman reported Monday she had been held captive and sexually assaulted in a home at 4605 N. Lincoln Street.

Detective Lydia Prichard said the woman called police around 5:30 a.m. and said she had escaped through a window in the home.

She led police to the house, Prichard said, and detectives questioned and arrested Keila Chapman, 27, and Merriah Wernsdorfer, 30, on the kidnapping charges.

Prichard said the kidnapping and assault do not appear to be random acts of violence.

“It appears to be related to the drug trade,” she said.


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