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Disaster and Accident

No charges filed in fatal SR 904 March collision

Cheney Free Press of Cheney, Washington

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A March 13 collision that killed a pedestrian in Four Lakes yielded no charges against the 16-year-old driver.

Documents from a Washington State Patrol investigation stated that 16-year-old Chase Walter didn't have time to react before his truck hit Petrick Rogers, 62, in the eastbound lane of SR 904 in Four Lakes near its intersection with First Avenue.

According to the documents, it was raining hard at the time of the 8 p.m. collision and Walter said he did not see Rogers crossing the road until he was in front of his vehicle.

According to Walter's statements in the documents, he was driving home from a friend's house in Cheney when he struck Rogers. He said he didn't see the pedestrian coming across the road before he hit him. Rogers was wearing dark clothing and the area was not well lit, the documents stated.

Following the impact, Rogers' body flew approximately 30 feet before landing in the road. Documents said he sustained trauma to his head and legs and likely suffered internal injuries. He died at the scene.

Walter said he was driving the speed limit, which is 40 miles per hour on that section of road, but no speed analysis was done as part of the investigation. WSP Trooper Troy Briggs said the circumstances of the collision suggested that Walter was not speeding, and no skid marks could be found due to the wet roadway.

"Unless there was pre-impact skid marks they couldn't do a speed calculation anyway," he said.

Rogers' aunt, who lived nearby in Four Lakes, was notified of the collision that night, and she said Rogers had been living with her and had left the house to get a beer.

A blood test showed that Walter was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the collision. Autopsy and toxicology reports for Rogers were not released due to confidentiality laws.

The March 13 incident is the fifth deadly accident on the section of SR 904 between Four Lakes and Cheney since 1999. The last fatality on the road occurred in January 2009.

Becky Thomas can be reached at becky@cheneyfreepress.com.

Original Publication Date: May 26, 2011



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