SPD Officer Involved in Collision While Responding to Medical Emergency
Spokane Police Department
SPOKANE -- On Tuesday, November 16, shortly before 11 p.m., an SPD patrol officer was responding to a medical emergency when they were involved in a collision at the intersection of N Lidgerwood St and E Empire Ave.
The intersection is controlled with stop signs for traffic on Lidgerwood and no traffic control for vehicles on Empire, giving vehicles on Empire the right-of-way.
The police vehicle was traveling east on Empire Ave with emergency lights and siren activated. The other involved vehicle, a pickup truck, was traveling south on Lidgerwood; that vehicle slowed but did not stop, before proceeding through the stop sign and into the path of the SPD vehicle.
The pickup was occupied by two individuals. The driver suffered minor injuries, and the passenger suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Both were transported to a local hospital for evaluation. The driver exhibited signs of intoxication and was processed for DUI. The criminal investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible.
The SPD officer suffered minor injuries. The officer was responding to the call of a one-month-old baby who was not breathing and turning blue. While responding to medical calls for service is a primary function of the Spokane Fire Department and AMR, SPD dispatchers frequently broadcast critical medical emergencies on the police radio channels.
This practice allows available officers in the area to respond; often officers are able to arrive before other first responders, and officers frequently perform life-saving measures until more advanced care is available. Other officers, SFD, and AMR personnel responded to the original medical emergency and the baby survived.