A Spokane Police Officer faces charges on two counts of vehicular assault in an accident that resulted in injuries in March 2020. An attorney for the victims says the Police Department has attempted to cover up circumstances that led to the incident and says there’s much more to the story.
According to KREM2 TV News the accident happened as on-duty Officer Michael Brunner was3 driving on Lincoln Street. His cruiser struck another vehicle as it was crossing at Fifth Avenue. The vehicle then ended up colliding with a parked car nearby.
Attorney Jim Domanico with Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S. (CCD Law) represents two of the victims in the crash. He says statements made by the Spokane Police department about what happened in that accident are “misleading and false.”
In a press release, Domanico said Officer Brunner was going 65 mph on Lincoln at 5th Avenue next to Deaconess Hospital, where the speed limit is only 30mph. Domanico says Brunner was speeding but not on an emergency call. He believes Brunner was in a rush to return to the police station for the end of his shift.
Domanico reports that his clients, Mr. and Mrs. Collins, sustained “substantial injuries that will impact them for years to come.”
Spokane Police spokesperson Julie Humphreys says the department had the Washington State Patrol conduct an investigation into the accident. The WSP made the recommendation for the current charges against Officer Brunner.
Attorney Jim Domanico believes Spokane Police tried to cover up Brunner’s actions and points out that officers initially ticketed Mr. Collins for the crash rather than beginning a criminal investigation into Brunner.
The CCD Law Press Release states “It was only when the true extent of the on-duty misconduct committed by Officer Brunner became undeniable that the Washington State Patrol investigated the Police Department’s actions, had the ticket dismissed and disclosed Officer Brunner’s actions to the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office.”
Officer Michael Brunner has been placed on administrative leave, according to Humphreys. He is scheduled to appear in court on July 15.