SPOKANE, Wash. - Police say the driver of the truck that went off an embankment near the TJ Meenach bridge Monday afternoon was impaired. The driver has been identified as Charles A. Welch. The female passenger has been identified as Candy J. Barnes 8/9/61. The investigation is ongoing but indications from witnesses make investigators believe speed was a factor. A Drug Recognition Expert evaluated the driver (Welch) and determined that he was impaired by intoxicating substances. The victim (Barnes) suffered multiple fractured ribs, a pneumothorax, and two large gashes on her leg that required stitches to close. Welch was not immediately charged with a crime (as he was admitted to the hospital as well for injuries) but charges are pending for vehicular assault. Welch was also found to be DWLS 3rd in Washington. Previous Coverage: SPOKANE, Wash. - Extrication crews were called to the TJ Meenach Bridge Monday afternoon after reports of a car going over the embankment.
When firefighters arrived they found the wreckage of a pickup truck under the bridge. Even further down the embankment was a camper that was attached to the bed of the pickup and was dislodged on the initial impact. The camper portion continued down the embankment with a woman inside.
Using a high-angle rescue, crews were able to get both victims out of the wreckage and take them to a hospital. Crews on scene tell KHQ that both victims were injured, but they are expected to be ok.
Investigators are now on scene trying to determine why the camper went off the road.
KHQ has multiple crews on scene gathering information and you can find the latest right here on khq.com and KHQ Local News on Facebook and Twitter.