Helm investigation included 'special inquiry process' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Helm investigation included 'special inquiry process'

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SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker says the lengthy Washington State Patrol investigation into the wreck that killed five children in November 2005 included a special inquiry process.

During the special inquiry, witnesses to the crash were subpoenaed to testify before a judge in secret.  Included in the prosecutor's Statement of Fact filed in court on Monday, two witnesses reported watching Helms vehicle exit and enter the roadway repeatedly.  They said it appeared "as if the vehicle was under control and actually accelerated back up to highway speed".

Another witnesses sounded her horn as Helm's vehicle traveled past her in the wrong direction.  She said she "did not believe what she was seeing at first because of the headlight glare".  She reported watching Helm re-enter the median after she sounded her horn.

Investigators believe the steering of the vehicle in and out of the median and into the oncoming lane of traffic constituted a conscious decision, justifying the charge of Vehicular Homicide.

Helm will be issued a summons to appear for arraignment on the charges within two weeks.  His attorney, Carl Oreskovich, did not immediately return phone calls for comment.  He has said in the past that the wreck was an accident.

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