Vehicle of interest found in deadly Mission hit and run case



Posted on March 12, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 13 at 5:58 AM

SPOKANE, Wash—Police investigating a fatal vehicle-pedestrian collision on Mission Street Bridge announced Wednesday that have found a vehicle of interest.

The discovery came one month after the collision that killed 55-year-old Don Foster. On March 9, police stopped drivers on Mission Street asking for information about the case.

Police stop drivers on Mission to investigate unsolved hit and run

Officers received a tip that the Gold SUV described by witnesses was seen in an alley near the intersection of North Helena Street and East Desmet Avenue according to court documents.

Officers said they found a damaged GMC Yukon registered to a woman who told them she had hit a pole. Police said the damage to the vehicle was not consistent with hitting a pole, but suggested the vehicle hit something soft, such as a person.

Officers search for SUV seen at deadly Mission hit and run

“It's a coincidence. I drive a tan SUV, okay. I know they're doing their job but I've proved to them, I didn't do this,” said GMC Yukon owner Terri Johnson.

Johnson said she knows the situation does not look good. She said her car has been towed into police evidence.

“I hit a pole back on December 13th,” said Johnson.

Police also discovered a pattern on the bumper that is commonly seen in vehicle pedestrian collisions and consistent with the imprint denim jeans would leave in the dirt according to court documents. 

There was also a black piece of plastic missing that matched a piece found at the scene the night of the murder according to police.

Police interviewed the owner of the car who said she was at home smoking and heard the collision the night that it happened.

KREM 2 News asked Johnson if she was driving the SUV that hit and killed the man on Mission.

“No, I was not. I was home with my boyfriend and daughter. I don't drive at night. If I have to my boyfriend drives,” said Johnson.

There were inconsistencies in her explanation for the auto damage according to court documents.

Police said the car owner told them she was using her cell phone the night of the wreck and asked a judge for permission to seize cell phone records from the night of the incident.

Johnson’s next-door neighbor, Holly Lewis, said she urged detectives to look in Johnson’s direction. Lewis claimed she saw the dent on Johnson’s car and got chills.
“I saw the dent, the dent was on the top of the hood. I forensicially added it all up, I didn't just call to narc on a random person,” said Lewis.

Johnson  said the claims are ridiculous.

Detectives had not called Johnson a person of interest as of Wednesday. They said they are simply investigating the case.