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Man dies in Desmet accident

by Brian Walker
| April 20, 2010 9:00 PM

Police say alcohol was a factor in an accident that killed a pedestrian in Desmet on the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation on Monday morning.

Patrick A. Gourneau, 22, Tensed, died at the scene after being struck by a 2002 Honda Civic driven by Andrea M. George, 18, Desmet, just before 6 a.m., according to Idaho State Police.

George was air-lifted to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, where she was in serious condition on Monday afternoon.

George was eastbound on Desmet Road when she crested a hill in a residential area and struck Gourneau, who was on foot, at the intersection of Desmet Road and Ajot Road, according to ISP.

ISP Trooper Holly Branch, the investigating officer, said she believes visibility was a factor.

"It is a factor, but it may not be the only factor," she said. "It was dusk."

Branch said the vehicle's speed is under investigation. An accident re-constructionist is involved with the investigation.

Branch said there was "extensive" damage to the vehicle.

The accident does not appear to be intentional, according to the initial investigation. There were skid marks at the scene, but Branch said she didn't immediately know the length.

Ashley A. Justice, 20, Desmet, a passenger in the Civic, was not injured.

It is unknown whether George or Justice were wearing seat belts, police said.

No citations have been issued. Police will wait for toxicology reports, which generally take 14 to 21 days.

Branch said police believe alcohol was a factor since there was a smell of it at the scene. Police hadn't interviewed George as of late Monday afternoon.

Coeur d'Alene Tribal Police assisted ISP with the accident, which was in Benewah County. The FBI will take the lead role in the followup investigation since the accident occurred on the reservation with ISP assisting.

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