KHQ EXCLUSIVE: TJ Meenach Truck, Camper Crash Victim - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

KHQ EXCLUSIVE: TJ Meenach Truck, Camper Crash Victim 'It Wasn't The Alcohol, It Was Muscle Relaxers'

SPOKANE, WASH. - Chuck Welch doesn't remember much, but one thing he knows for certain.

"I didn't give a damn about the truck. My main concern was Candy," Welch said. "That truck can be replaced, Candy can't."   

Candy Barnes is his girlfriend of a month and a half and she was in the camper attached to his truck when he crashed it Monday afternoon. Welch was driving eastbound just before the TJ Meenach bridge when he went off the road and hit the curb. The truck landed on the Centennial Trail, but the camper, with Candy inside, went flying two hundred feet to the banks of the Spokane River. Barnes is in critical condition tonight. Welch has been listed by Sacred Heart staff as "satisfactory."  

Though this story ends at the hospital, it all started last Friday when the doctor told him to quit drinking.

"No but's, if's or and's about," Welch said. "I have not bought a can of beer since the day he told me that but I did have the three cans of beer in the back (of the refrigerator) and at five dollars for three of them I wasn't about to waste it."

So he didn't waste them and he drank those three beers on Monday, according to him, between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. But it wasn't the beer that caused this accident, Welch said, it was the muscle relaxers. He says he had been prescribed muscle relaxers and took them along with his alcohol. On top of all of that, he says he hadn't slept for three days because of his problems with his hip.  

"When this hip is acting up it's hard to walk, stand, sit, or lay down," Welch said.  "With me being up for three days and drinking three cans of beer and taking two muscle relaxers on top of it, me being stupid like I was, ‘What's the first thing that's going to happen?' I'm going to fall asleep and that's exactly what happened."  

Welch said he blacked out and quickly realized what he did. Despite the crash, his focus remains on his relationship. He's been single for 36 years after three divorces earlier in his life, and admits he does not trust women. But then he met Candy.

"She's the type of person who would put you in your place in a heartbeat," Welch said.  

He had the chance to talk to her last night and he believes everything will work out.  

"Like I told her last night, ‘I just got you (Candy) I don't want to lose you," Welch said.

Following the accident Welch will be charged with DUI and vehicular assault. Witnesses say he was driving more than 50 mph in a 30 mph zone at the time of the crash.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Victim in domestic violence situation turned house fire speaks out

    Victim in domestic violence situation turned house fire speaks out

    Sunday, June 17 2018 9:26 PM EDT2018-06-18 01:26:17 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - It's been a tough 24 hours for the Winant Family.  Kelli Winant says she called police after a situation escalated with she and her boyfriend Saturday after he had been drinking.  "After he beat me pretty good yesterday, he burned our house down,” Kelli Winant Firefighters were at the home in a matter of minutes.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - It's been a tough 24 hours for the Winant Family.  Kelli Winant says she called police after a situation escalated with she and her boyfriend Saturday after he had been drinking.  "After he beat me pretty good yesterday, he burned our house down,” Kelli Winant Firefighters were at the home in a matter of minutes.

    >>
  • Woman hospitalized in North Spokane stabbing

    Woman hospitalized in North Spokane stabbing

    Monday, June 18 2018 1:01 AM EDT2018-06-18 05:01:08 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - On Sunday, just after 7 pm, Spokane Police responded to a stabbing call in the 600 block of E Providence Ave in Northeast Spokane. Officers arrived on scene in about two minutes, and located an adult female victim who was suffering from a stab wound. Officers immediately began providing first aid to the victim until SFD and AMR paramedics could take over care.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - On Sunday, just after 7 pm, Spokane Police responded to a stabbing call in the 600 block of E Providence Ave in Northeast Spokane. Officers arrived on scene in about two minutes, and located an adult female victim who was suffering from a stab wound. Officers immediately began providing first aid to the victim until SFD and AMR paramedics could take over care.

    >>
  • Driver charged with following too close in Highway 395 crash

    Driver charged with following too close in Highway 395 crash

    Sunday, June 17 2018 11:55 AM EDT2018-06-17 15:55:41 GMT

    LOON LAKE, Wash.- Washington State Patrol investigators say a driver following too close led to a 3-vehicle crash at Highway 395 and Grote Rd. Saturday evening. The crash happened around 7:15 p.m. Troopers say a silver 2003 Ford Taurus driven by 17-year-old Jon Peter Nelson was northbound on Highway 395, stopped and preparing to turn left onto Grote Road.

    >>

    LOON LAKE, Wash.- Washington State Patrol investigators say a driver following too close led to a 3-vehicle crash at Highway 395 and Grote Rd. Saturday evening. The crash happened around 7:15 p.m. Troopers say a silver 2003 Ford Taurus driven by 17-year-old Jon Peter Nelson was northbound on Highway 395, stopped and preparing to turn left onto Grote Road.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/