Four injured in highway crashes

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SANDPOINT — Four people, including two children, were injured in separate crashes on Panhandle highways on Friday.

Idaho State Police said Cassandra Spencer was southbound on U.S. Highway 95 in Naples when she drifted off the right side of the road and struck an unattended Ford Expedition sport utility vehicle. The 1995 Chevrolet pickup truck Spencer was driving spun into the northbound lane and crashed head-on into a tractor-trailer.

The driver of the semi, Beloit Mendenhall, veered off the west side of the highway and was ejected. State police said Mendenhall, a 66-year-old from Bonners Ferry, was not wearing a seat belt, but managed to escape injury despite being thrown from the rig.

Spencer, 27, of Naples, was injured in the collision and taken to an area hospital for treatment, ISP said. Cason Spencer, 5, was taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. Jaycie Spencer, 3, was also injured and hospitalized.

The crash happened at about 9:30 a.m.

Minutes before that crash, a 77-year-old Spirit Lake man was injured when he lost control of his Dodge Ram quad cab pickup while driving southbound on Highway 41 in Kootenai County.

Richard Kiser wound up in the southbound lane, where he was struck by a Peterbilt tractor-trailer. The semi went off the west side of the road after striking several trees. Kiser also struck several trees after going off the east side of the road.

Kiser was taken to Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene. State police said he was wearing a seat belt.

The driver of the semi, Cecil Evey, 57, of Post Falls, was also wearing safety restraints, but was not injured in the crash, according to ISP.

State police issued a motorist advisory Friday warning that there were a number of slide-offs and crashes on Friday due to snow and ice. Troopers recommended that drivers use caution and give themselves plenty of time to reach their destinations.

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