Local man booked on vehicular homicide

Three-car Airway Heights crash killed one


Last updated 12/26/2018 at 9:46am

A Nespelem man is being held on $500,000 bond in Spokane County jail after his involvement in a deadly car crash that killed a Spokane veteran three miles west of Airway Heights Dec. 19.

Ryan E. Labreck, 36, of Spokane, died at the scene Wednesday morning after his 2016 Subaru Crosstrek, which was stopped in a turn lane as he waited to turn left from U.S. 2 onto Christensen Road, was struck from behind by a 2002 Dodge Caravan driven by Thomas Aripa, 45, of Nespelem, a Washington State Patrol investigation found.

Labreck’s westbound Crosstrek was forced into the eastbound lane of the highway and was struck by an eastbound F-350 Ford pickup driven by an Edwall man with three passengers on board, including two children, the report indicates.

That family — a man and woman, both 28, and two children — was taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries, as was Aripa.

The crash happened about 7:30 a.m. Labreck, a former Air Force staff sergeant, had been on his way to work at the Graham Road Landfill, KREM2 reported.

Court documents said Aripa admitted that he had smoked marijuana earlier in the morning and drank Bud Light the night before and that a WSP trooper said Aripa had lost his balance at least nine times during a sobriety test, making his level of intoxication “obvious,” KREM reported.

Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

Aripa was booked into Spokane County Jail on vehicular homicide and assault charges and on outstanding warrants for DUI and hit-and-run incidents.

He remained there Sunday night with a total bond listed of $500,325.

Arguing for only a tenth of that bond amount, his lawyer told the court her client was not a flight risk, KREM reported. But a judge disagreed, citing two felony convictions, 15 misdemeanors and 11 failures to appear in court.


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