Driver Arrested for Hit and Run with Injury
Passenger of the Vehicle Sustains Life-Threatening Injuries
Last Sunday, Spokane Valley Traffic Investigators arrested the driver of the vehicle that hit a large parked truck, severely injuring one of the passengers. Because he failed to report the crash, the driver was charged with hit and run with injury, a felony, and booked into jail. As of this morning, the passenger remains in critical condition with life-threatening injuries.
On November 24, 2019, at approximately 5:00 a.m., Spokane Valley Deputies responded to the report of suspicious circumstances at Valley Hospital. Emergency room staff reported two males arrived, one of which was unconscious and severely injured from what appeared to be a vehicle collision. The unconscious victim’s injuries were life-threatening, and he was flown to a downtown hospital for treatment.
Deputies arrived and learned the adult males were dropped off at the hospital by the mother of the second male who had minor injuries. Staff provided the license plate of the vehicle used to drop the two patients off.
The conscious second male, still at Valley Hospital, claimed to have no recollection of what occurred.
Deputies also responded to the address of the registered owner of the vehicle driven by the female. At approximately 6:10 a.m., Deputies observed a female inside the home, but a male, later identified as 41-year-old Ryan J. Elliott, answered the door, walked outside, and closed the door behind him. Elliott admitted he was the driver of the vehicle involved in the crash.
He said he picked up the second male and the severely injured victim in Mead earlier in the evening and was giving them a ride to his residence. Elliott said he saw an animal or child in the roadway and swerved, which to the best of his memory, caused him to crash into a parked truck. He did not remember where the crash took place but knew it was somewhere in the Spokane Valley, possibly near 16th and Balfour. After the collision, Elliott walked away to find help. He said his mother picked up the two males near the scene of the crash. Elliott did not remember how he got back to his home. Medics were requested to evaluate Elliott, who was complaining of back pain in addition to his inability to remember what occurred. Elliott refused to be transported to the hospital for additional treatment.
A check of 911 calls revealed no report of this incident or a crash involving Elliott’s vehicle. Elliott was advised he was being detained and advised of his rights. Elliott chose to stop answering questions and requested an attorney.
Deputies began checking the general area of where the collision might have occurred and located Elliott’s Mazda in the 1700 block of S. Balfour. The vehicle had extensive damage, and debris was strewn all over the roadway from a collision with a large truck parked on the shoulder.
From the evidence at the scene, it appears the Mazda was traveling north on Balfour, crossed into the southbound portion of the road, and continued onto the dirt shoulder where it slid sideways before striking the parked truck. The vehicle was unoccupied, and a large amount of blood was observed inside. The driver’s side airbag curtain was deployed.
Elliott submitted to voluntary field sobriety tests, and no signs of impairment were observed. Deputies arrested Elliott for felony hit and run and transported him to the Spokane County Jail where he was booked on that charge.
As of this morning, the victim’s condition is critical.
This remains an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information regarding this unreported crash with life-threatening injuries or the events leading up to it is asked to call Corporal Welton at 509-477-3237.