An everyday traffic stop suddenly spun wildly out of control early Friday morning. A Washington State Patrol officer attempted to pull over a white Pontiac sedan when the vehicle quickly sped off down Interstate 90. The police chase eventually ended in a Spokane crash in the heart of the city.
The Washington State Patrol trooper immediately gave chase to the speeding Pontiac, even clocking the fleeing vehicle at an astounding 115 miles per hour. The Pontiac attempted to exit I-90 at the Maple Street exit in Spokane when the driver, later indentified as Athos Turner, 30, of Glendale, Arizona, lost control of the vehicle near the stoplight at Maple Street and crashed into a tree.
“He hit the tree,” said Sergeant Scott Lasher of the Washington State Patrol. “He hit the barriers. Witnesses said he jumped 15 feet in the air. It could have been a lot worse. Everybody lucked out today.”
The Pontiace apparently left the side of the road, collided with a tree, a traffic sign, and then a telephone pole before flying dozens of feet in the air and eventually landing atop its roof. The Spokane crash ended in an empty lot between Fifth Avenue and Maple Street.
A nearby pedestrian attempted to help Turner from the wrecked Pontiac. Turner lied to the person trying to help him by claiming there was a child in the backseat. When the good samaritan went to help the supposed child in the back of the Pontiac, Turner fled the scene of the crash on foot.
Police later apprehended Turner not far from the Spokane crash. His injuries from the crash were minor and he was transported to the MultiCare Deaconess Hospital. There were no other passengers in Turner’s vehicle, nor was anyone else hurt in the Spokane crash.
— Rob Curley (@robcurley) September 14, 2018
The intersection of Maple Street and Fifth Avenue was closed for hours after the crash. Traffic along Maple Street was backed up all the way to Maple Street Bridge as police investigated and cleared the wreckage.
The Spokane crash knocked out power to the intersection’s traffic light and to several houses in the vicinity. Avista Utilities arrived within an hour of the crash to repair the downed telephone pole and electrical lines.
Turner was later charged with driving under the influence, hit and run, and trying to evade arrest by a police officer.
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