One man in hospital, brother in jail after crashing car into tree

One man in hospital, brother in jail after crashing car into tree

One man is fighting for his life while his brother is in jail after an alcohol-fueled drive ended with their car crashing into a tree.

Spokane Valley deputies were called to 17th and Bowdish in Spokane Valley around 2:30 a.m. Friday. Neighbors say it’s the fourth crash in the area in just three years. Now they’d like something done to make the stretch of road safer.

Skid marks on the road and tire marks in the grass show the path of Gordon Hill’s car as he crashed into the tree.

“Heard a big, massive bang, shook the whole house,” Rob Peck said of the crash on Wednesday.

The impact woke up neighbors.

“There was tire smoke all over the place. I knew pretty well that it was going to be a bad situation,” Brett Gombasy said.

Gombasy, an off-duty firefighter who lives across the street, called 911. Because of his training, he was able to relay information that first responders were going to need, “quite a few extra hands and some trucks to help get the patients out safely.”

Hill and his passenger, who neighbors say is Hill’s brother, were taken to hospitals. The passenger is in serious but stable position. Hill is in jail, facing vehicular assault charges.

“I was worried about the people in the car at first, and then I was worried about everything. I mean, this is the fourth time in three years we’ve had bad accidents here,” Peck said.

Peck and his wife have lived in the neighborhood for 31 years and say Bodwish is getting increasingly more dangerous.

“This road has gotten busier the last two years than it’s ever been,” he said. “They do speed up and down this road quite a bit.”

In 2014, Alejandro Apodaca, 34, took the same path as Hill. Apodaca’s car crashed into a tree in the same front yard. His family members planted a tree there in his memory.

Peck says a few years ago a woman who was high on drugs crashed into his truck and house.

“It knocked all the bricks loose on the front, all the bushes were gone. The truck, I had to get rid of it. The truck was totaled,” Peck said.

Now residents are wondering how to make their neighborhood safer, not only for drivers but for themselves. Their plan is to bring their concerns to the next city council meeting and figure out what can be done.