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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm


• Firefighters were called to the mine at TransAlta near Centralia yesterday when a worker somehow got sprayed by sulfuric acid on his neck and arms, according to Riverside Fire Authority. He had been wearing face protection and was already in the shower when the crew arrived, according to Firefighter Terry Ternan. “I don’t know what they use it for out there,” Ternan said. They have tanks of it. His skin was red but he had no blistering, and he was transported by ambulance to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the fire department.


• Centralia police took a report yesterday afternoon from the 1100 block of South Schueber Road regarding someone stealing money from an individual through a phony phone loan scam. Further details were not readily  available.


• Police were called yesterday morning regarding appliances stolen from a residence on the 200 block of West Oakview Avenue in Centralia which has been repossessed by the bank.


• A 25-year-old Centralia man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine after contact with police about 4:15 a.m. today at the 1100 block of Long Road, according to the Centralia Police Department. Chad E. Holmes was booked into the Lewis County jail, according to police.

• Robert D. LaChance, 51, Randle, was arrested for possession and delivery of methamphetamine yesterday in the Morton area by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Sgt. Rob Snaza said the arrest followed on ongoing investigation. Arrested at the same time for possession of meth was Bryan W. Olson, according to Snaza. LaChance was among several people rounded up by deputies in the Randle area in early June and was already facing delivery charges.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; responses for alarms, minor-injury collisions, suspicious activity, disputes, stolen bicycles, other misdemeanor theft, protection order violation; inquiry about family member who forgot to pay for some grocery items and was escorted by store security and made to sign a form charging her money for alleged theft; complaints of man seen urinating by a dumpster behind a building … and more.

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Motorcyclist zapped on head by lightning on freeway at Chehalis

Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 10:33 am

The lightning strike victim talks with police and firefighters trying to arrange who he would allow to drive his motorcycle away before he would get back in to an ambulance.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 59-year-old Tenino man was struck by lightning this morning as he was traveling on his motorcycle up Interstate 5 at Chehalis.

A man and his wife who were behind him saw the flash and stopped to help.

“I was behind him in my truck, the lightning came down and lit up his helmet,” Martin Zapalac said.

At first Zapalac wondered if he imagined it, but then saw the motorcyclist lean forward and move to the shoulder.

The couple had the man follow him to the AM/PM off 13th Street, where arriving firefighters and paramedics checked him out.

It happened about 9:20 a.m., just north of the LaBree Road interchange.

Medics checked his vital signs and found he had some burns on the side of his head, although minor, according to the Chehalis Fire Department.

“He seemed to suffer some hearing damage as well,” Fire Capt. Kevin Curfman said.

The man was conscious and talking, and alert enough he got out of the ambulance to try to arrange who could drive his bike to a spot for safe keeping.

He was transported by ambulance to Providence Centralia Hospital.

Zapalac said the man’s hair was burned and the inside of his helmet was messed up, but he didn’t quite seem to understand how seriously he could be hurt.

He took off his helmet and asked, “Why am I parked by the side of the road,” Zapalac said.

“I’ve never seen it strike quite that close,” Zapalac said. “It was a good strike too, cause I felt the  concussion in my truck … when the thunder came.”


Motorcycle helmet is damaged where it was struck by a lightning bolt.

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News brief: Watch for water on streets, roads

Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 9:05 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The National Weather Service cautions significant rainfall today could cause flash flooding and overwhelm storm drains, leading to flooded roads.

Most of Western Washington remains under a flood watch through tomorrow evening, with the heaviest rainfall expected later tonight through tomorrow morning, according to the weather service.

It could led to urban and small stream flooding, but actual river flooding is unlikely, according to the NWS.

The 5 a.m. notification indicates also a short period of intense rainfall accompanying thunder storms.

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One of John Booth’s appeals to murder conviction grinding slowly through local court

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:20 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey made clear he wants to hold a hearing on convicted triple murderer John Allen Booth Jr.’s allegations of eavesdropping by the state on Lewis County Jail inmates and wants his attorneys to have the benefit of all the materials they are seeking to present the issue.

“I want to go through the entire process because when we do have a hearing, I want all the information available,” Brosey said in court yesterday.


John A. Booth Jr.

Court assigned defense attorney Erik Kupka and his office partner David Mistashkin were in Lewis County Superior Court yesterday afternoon asking for an order that prosecutors turn over certain documents.

Kupka called the issue a constitutional matter, the remedy for which could be a new trial.

Booth is serving a life sentence following his December 2011 conviction in the shooting deaths the year before of David West Sr., 52; his son David “D.J.” West Jr., 16; and 50-year-old Tony Williams of Randle. West Sr.’s live-in girlfriend Denise Salts was shot in the face but survived. Prosecutors said the slayings in the Onalaska-Salkum area home came about because Booth and his former cell mate were “taxing” West Sr. on behalf of Lewis County drug dealer Robbie Russell.

Booth denies he shot them. Booth didn’t attend yesterday’s hearing.

The proceedings relate to Booth’s motion to vacate his judgement and sentence which he filed late last year from Walla Walla State Penitentiary. It alleges governmental misconduct and the state’s infringement of his right to counsel.

His main contention is law enforcement officers listened from outside the jail’s row of visiting rooms while he consulted with his attorneys, rooms in which people almost had to yell back and forth to be heard through the transparent partitions.

Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher asked the court yesterday to rule against the pair of defense attorneys.

“In any stretch of the imagination, there is no legal authority for what they request,” Meagher said.

Brosey agreed the information they sought was not possessed by prosecutors, but by the jail, and advised them to continue pursuing the documents through public records requests. Kupka and Mistashkin said they’ve been doing that, but the pages have ben heavily redacted.

Kupka was appointed by Brosey in late January to represent Booth on his self-filed motion. Brosey presided over the Dec. 2011 trial.

Kupka and Mistashkin told the judge they still have not been able to get a hold of copies of material from the case from the lawyer who represented Booth during his trial. Meagher offered to share with them everything he turned over to the previous attorney.

Brosey noted more than once it was troubling to him the defense attorney, Roger Hunko, never raised the privacy issue as a problem during the trial.

“I don’t think there’s anything in the record that occurred,” he said.

The attorneys, who work in Grays Harbor County, have an appointment set to interview Booth in Walla Walla on Sept. 26.

For background, read “Ear hustling”: Convicted murderer John Booth tells judge about problems at Lewis County Jail” from Friday July 5, 2013, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 5:46 pm


• Centralia police began investigating an alleged third-degree assault yesterday after contact with a female from the 1600 block of Maple Valley Drive who said her ex-boyfriend hit and choked her while visiting from out of town. The suspect left before police arrived after the approximately 10:40 a.m. call, according to the Centralia Police Department. The case remains under investigation, according to police.


• A 47-year-old Portland man was arrested yesterday morning for allegedly masturbating in public at the 2000 block of Borst Avenue in Centralia. Jonathan M. Davis was arrested for indecent exposure and booked into the Lewis County Jail after contact with an officer around 8 a.m.,  according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A deputy responded yesterday to a report of a burglary in the 2500 block of state Route 7 near Mineral which had occurred sometime since Friday. The victim said the missing items included two King portable radios and Garmon handheld portable GPS map, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• Chehalis police were contacted just after 9 a.m. yesterday by a woman on the 100 block of Southwest 11th Street regarding about 47 hydrocodone tablets missing from her home.


• “A couple of” potted plants were stolen from the front porch of a residence on the 900 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia, according to a report police took about 3:15 p.m. yesterday.


• Centralia police took a report about 12:30 p.m. yesterday of an attempted vehicle prowl at the 100 block of East Bridge Street. Nothing seemed to be missing, possibly because the family dog started barking, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarms, suspicious activity, disputes, collisions, lost items, issues about roommate; complaints of violation of protection order, auto dealer refusing to allow customer to return vehicle … and more.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Updated at 8:55 p.m.


• A 24-year-old Centralia father was arrested last night for child assault after he allegedly spanked his 5-year-old son with a wooden spoon leaving bruises on the child. Police called about 8:30 p.m. to the 1900 block of Foxglove Lane were told the boy had been chipping paint off the wall, the dad tried to correct him, but he continued doing it, according to the Centralia Police Department. The mother who went into another room to deal with a crying child heard yelling and a scuffle, came out and saw what the father had done, according to police. She gathered up the children and left, Sgt. Stacy Denham said. The suspect admitted he may have hit the boy too hard, Denham said. William S. Joyce was booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree child assault. Denham said essentially anything that causes anything more than temporary or transient pain is assault.


• A 59-year-old woman who allegedly pointed a 22 rifle at her roommate and threatened to shoot him on Sunday morning was arrested for first-degree assault. A deputy responding about 12:45 p.m. to the 1100 block of Garrard Creek Road was told by the 54-year-old victim the two were having an argument, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Sherry L. Erickson subsequently left but was located and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.


• Officers responding  to a disturbance at the Washington Hotel in downtown Chehalis on Saturday night found about 50 people on the sidewalk in a heated dispute, encountered a fight on the stairs and upstairs found another group of 50 to 100 people in a corner fighting and throwing chairs, according to the Chehalis Police Department. It was a wedding reception at the 500 block of North Market Boulevard. Aid was called for fainting; the bride was passed out on the floor at the entryway, according to police. An officer had the announcer tell everyone the party was done and everybody needed to go home, Officer Linda Bailey said. Two people were arrested for disorderly conduct; Javier Lopez-Barron, 19, of Royal City; and Juan C. Alcantar, 26, from Hawthorne, Calif., Bailey said.


• An 80-piece set of sterling silverware valued at between $8,000 and $10,000 was reported missing from a residence on the 800 block of state Route 508 southeast of Chehalis. A deputy called on Friday was told it vanished sometime since December, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning.


• Police were called to the 1200 block of Windsor Avenue yesterday evening where someone had stolen numerous pieces of jewelry from a home. It appears they came through an unlocked window sometime since about 4 o’clock Saturday afternoon, according to the Centralia Police Department. Among the missing items were about two dozen pairs of earrings and some bracelets, according to police.

• An officer took a report on Sunday evening of a burglary at the 1300 block of Crescent Avenue in Centralia the previous week.


• Chehalis police were called to Yard Birds Mall about 5:40 p.m. on Friday regarding theft of a Honda trail bike. A male had been seen pushing a kid on it earlier, but left, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• A deputy was contacted about 2:30 a.m. yesterday by an individual who reported a burglary to a garage area at the 300 block of Mineral Road South. Among the approximately $900 of valuables missing is a self-propelled lawnmower, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It occurred sometime after 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Someone cut a lock to the used car battery cage at Wal-Mart and stole 25 batteries, according to a report made to police on Saturday night. Security video showed a red Toyota Rave, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Waterbed sheets were stolen off a clothes line in the 1100 block of North Washington Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police on Sunday.


• Centralia police were called about 9:20 a.m. on Sunday about a vehicle prowl at the 400 block of South Washington Avenue. Tools were stolen,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Sometime between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, someone broke into a vehicle at the 100 block of Snyder Road in Packwood and stole about $1,500 worth of men’s and women’s clothing and a wallet, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• A sheriff’s office response yesterday to a dispute at the 300 block of Big Hanaford Road outside Centralia led to a search warrant and a subsequent arrest of the resident for possession of methamphetamine. Found was suspected meth and pipes, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Booked into the Lewis County Jail was Justin M. Hale, 32, according to the sheriff’s office.


• Someone called 911 about 3:10 p.m. on Saturday to report a male in camouflage clothing walking down the 500 block of South Market Boulevard in Chehalis carrying an AR15 gun. The 22-year-old refused to answer questions from an arriving officer, advising their conversation was being recorded with his camera phone and that his second amendment rights allowed him to carry his gun, according to the Chehalis Police Department. He wasn’t pointing the weapon at anyone, according to police.


• A thermostat failure on a hot water heater is blamed for a fire that destroyed a Salkum area house the weekend before last. Fire Investigator Ted McCarty said some clothing near the appliance ignited at the two-story house on the 800 block of Gore Road. it happened about 11 a.m. on Aug. 24 and six individuals that included an infant escaped without injury. McCarty said he believed it was the original water heater in the home which was about 20 years old.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assaults, driving with suspended license, driving under the influence; responses for alarms, suspicious activity, marital discord and other disputes, collisions, hit and run, stolen bicycle, found purse, neighbors yelling about individual’s guitar playing, numerous instances of people asking police to remove people from various places, female wanting to tell police she smacked someone who got in her face, neighbor vehicle rolling into a house on the 400 block of Northeast Adams Avenue; complaint of woman who tried to return a puppy hours after purchasing it from a private individual and seller refused to talk with her … and more.

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What happened to Tina Thode?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 11:29 am

Tina Thode’s body was discovered on July 29, at the edge of the Skookumchuck River, east of a pasture off West Reynolds and Tower Avenue in Centralia, two days after an hours long search when she called 911 to say she was lost. / Google maps

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CENTRALIA – She was a 40-year-old mother of three boys, none of whom lived with her.

Tina Thode didn’t work, but labored intensely in recent years to overcome drug addiction.

Described by those who knew her as both a girly girl and a tomboy, she was a woman who would entice housemates to gather in the kitchen with her homemade tacos or be content passing time exploring nearby woods.

On the final weekend of her life, Thode called 911 asking for help getting off the banks of the tree-lined Skookumchuck River. It was after dark, about a quarter mile from her north Centralia home. An intense but unsuccessful search was abandoned, and it seems as though that was the last anyone heard from her. Two days later, a pair of 15-year-olds floating down the river on inner tubes discovered her body partially submerged on the river’s edge.

What killed Thode won’t be known for sure until the Lewis County coroner reports his findings; he’s waiting for toxicology test results.

What exactly she was doing at the river that evening, and for the next day and half remains a mystery as well.


Tina A. Thode

Her good friend Matt Mitchell is among those grieving and trying to make sense of Thode’s death. He was with her the morning of the Saturday she got lost. After she died, he helped her parents clear out her studio apartment at the end of Pike Street.

“I was told she was alive until Monday, noonish,” Mitchell said. “She didn’t starve to death or drown.”

Centralia Police Department detective Sgt. Pat Fitzgerald indicated on the Monday night when he helped recover her body, it didn’t appear to him she’d been in the water for two days. There were no obvious signs of injury or foul play, he said.

Mitchell recalls that Sunday was a hot day, and it stayed warm out until late. He can’t come up with a reason why the woman he calls his best friend didn’t just walk home after daylight.

“I don’t know what happened to her to cause her not to be able to get out,” Mitchell said. “Or if she had a stroke, or a seizure. Not that she had that history, I just don’t get it.”

Mitchell, a tow truck driver who came to know Thode through recovery, doesn’t think it odd if she went to the river by herself. Still, he said, he’s checked with a half dozen people she could possibly have been with, and they all said they weren’t.

“I called even my ex using friends,” he said.

Thode didn’t have enough money to get high enough to become delusional, he said. She had just $20, he said. And, he was told about that amount of methamphetamine was found in the car she had borrowed which was discovered parked on the east side of the river off Central Boulevard.

He tried to describe who she was, saying that even though she got high, drugs were not the center of her life.

He saw her often over the previous few months. Mitchell said she hadn’t been awake for days before that weekend, and she wasn’t the type of meth user to crash into a long, deep slumber after a high, according to Mitchell. “I’ve seen her sleep for four hours and be ready to go,” he said.

What is clear about Thode, is an extraordinary number of people turned out for not just one, or two, but three gatherings in her honor the week after her death.

“I’ve been to a lot of funerals, but I’ve never seen that many people at a funeral,” her father Roger Thode said.

He estimated there were 300 at the Napavine Assembly of God Church on Sunday Aug. 4, the same church where his daughter was baptized a year ago.

Two nights earlier, he and his wife Lila Thode were among two dozen individuals who came together beneath a picnic shelter in Fort Borst Park, comforting each other with song, prayer and fond recollections.

A couple years back, Tina Thode spent 10 months at a place called Safe Family Ministries on Jackson Highway south of Chehalis. It’s a year-long discipleship program primarily for women and children getting their lives back on track. Former residents recently began holding the Friday night park meetings so women who still struggle have a place to get encouragement, according to Kandi Delos Santos.

The Chehalis native was flamboyant with a contagious laugh, they said.

“She was always working, or she was directing, or she was just singing,” one young woman shared. “You could hear her singing for 40 yards down the hill,” added a man who said he volunteered at Safe.

Jen Jackson, whose voice and guitar led the evening music recalled Tina Thode as inspiring to many during her stay there.

“There were times I didn’t want to start until Tina was in the room, just because of the joy that radiated off of here,” she said.

Roger and Lila Thode showed again the day after the memorial service when Lewis County Drug Court members assembled in the county commissioner’s chambers at the Historic Courthouse in Chehalis honoring his daughter’s memory.

She was a current and active participant in drug court, according to drug court manager Jennifer Soper-Baker.

“A lot of the folks knew Tina pretty well, and they’re taking it pretty hard,” she said.

Soper-Baker called her a neat lady, who was very emotionally open and willing to do what was expected of her.

“She definitely tried many times to get clean over the course of the last three years,” she said.

Tina Thode had relapsed and spent a few days in jail as a sanction just before the fatal weekend, according to Soper-Baker. They spoke that Thursday afternoon, and Tina Thode was feeling optimistic and hopeful about her recovery, she said.

When she got out of the Lewis County Jail, she was set up to go into an inpatient drug treatment center in Chehalis, Mitchell said.

“I think it was Wednesday or Thursday, she had to be at ABHS by 10 p.m. the same night,” he said. “She made it there like at 11:30, but they still let her in.”

The following morning at around 11 o’clock, she called him and said she’d walked out, he said. He picked her up.

Her chosen drugs were meth and marijuana, he said. And she really wanted help to quit them, he said.

“She said she wanted to go back, but she didn’t want to be somewhere she could call someone and be home in five minutes,” Mitchell said.

On Saturday morning July 27, Mitchell was at Tina Thode’s apartment. He was helping her compose a letter to drug court, apologizing for walking out of treatment after they’d found her a bed, and asking to be able to go to an 90-day program in Spokane.

Mitchell said he had to go to work and their plan was to meet again about 5 p.m. to finish the letter. He spoke to her on the phone about 3 p.m., she said she was jumping in the shower.

“I talked to her about 4, when I called to tell her I had to work late,” he said.

Roger Thode went to the police department the following week to try to get some questions answered.

“She was gonna go put some more minutes on her phone, run some errands that day,” he said. “Instead, she went to the river.”

Born in Chehalis and mostly raised there, by her father and his current wife, Tina Thode alway loved spending time at the water, her father said.

“The Newaukum, that’s where you’d find her in the summer,” he said. “She would spend all day walking up and down the river, picking up agates

“She swam like a fish, even as a baby, water didn’t scare her.”

Roger Thode said his daughter has always had a battle, and her family has always tried to help her.

She didn’t work and was receiving disability benefits for mental issues, he said. Exactly what they were, he didn’t know.

“If she took her meds for her mental issue and left the drugs alone, she was a hard worker and worked hard,” he said.

At one job at a bakery in Yelm, the owner thought so much of her, he’d take off on vacation and leave her in charge,” her father said.

“She did good for quite some time,” he said. “But the meds, she couldn’t feel emotion. Didn’t laugh or cry; she got tired of that, doped up like a zombie.”

She decided having mental illness was better, he said.

Tina Thode tried to take her own life a year and a half ago, but survived, he said. After that, she worked closely with her doctors and got back on her medications and had the ten month stretch while she was at Safe where she did very well, he said.

She has three sons. The oldest lives in Everett with his father, the middle one is in the Army based in Alaska and her 12-year-old lives in Kelso with his father.

“We can’t hide the fact she was an addict,” Roger Thode said. “I was always afraid someday she’d be found dead in a ditch. I was hurt, but I wasn’t surprised.”

It was 10:21 p.m. on Saturday July 27, when the Lewis County emergency dispatch center got a 911 call from Tina Thode.

Centralia Police Department Sgt. Carl Buster on duty. He was told she went to the Skookumchuck River at the B Street Park, was cold, wet and needed help.

Buster knew her. He arrested her in May, an arrest that pushed her into drug court, he said.

On the way to jail they had a really good talk, he said. About life.

“It was like, hey Tina, when are you gonna get cleaned up?” Buster said. “She was like, I’m trying.”

Buster and two other officers responded, and before the night was over, they and four members of the fire department had searched along both sides of the river around the park – also known as Parkins Park, farther downstream along the levy at Sixth and Pearl Street and even father southwest near River Road.

Until her phone went dead, they communicated with her through a call taker and a dispatcher at the 911 center.

“We’re calling, telling her to yell, she’s singing at one point, but we can’t hear here,” Buster said.

The river is lined with thick blackberries and other brush, and in some places, the closest responders could get was like 20 yards, he said. Buster went in at B Street Park, crawling through bushes to get close to the riverbank.

“I’m hollering, ‘hey, it’s Buster’,” he said. “I’m thinking she’s scared. I know she knows me, I was there when she stabbed herself last year.”

We had so much working against us, he said.

Riverside Fire Authority Assistant Chief Mike Kytta now wonders about the various ways sound may have or have not have traveled along the course of the river.

They tried calling out to her, sounding a whistle and other means to make contact, he said.

“The deputy sounded his siren and she said she could hear it, but it sounded far away,” he said. “In fact, he was closer to her than anyone.”

Kytta and his crew walked with thermal imaging cameras, looking on the black and white screen for a heat signature that a person would have.

Her phone was “pinged” off a nearby cell tower.

They inquired about getting the state patrol aircraft with thermal imaging type capabilities, but it was not available.

Her father listened to the 911 tapes, and heard his daughter’s call.

At one point, she she didn’t want to wave her little flashlights or call out to the searchers as the 911 operator requested, saying she heard people on the bank but they hadn’t answered her when she did call out to them. At another point, she suggested she should sing, and let loose with multiple verses of Amazing Grace.

She told 911 she’d gone in the river at the park, and that she’d waded along the river. Roger Thode said he could hear that his daughter was a little spooked, but could tell she was not wasted.

“She could have been a little high, but not out-of-her-mind stupid,” he said. “It was Tina on there, and she wasn’t a mess.”

Police and fire personnel discussed getting a boat out onto the river, but it was dark and that would be too dangerous, according to Buster.

Although, he admitted, he even contemplated ignoring the fire department’s position on that and going out alone. He didn’t.

While later another sergeant from the police department said the reason the search was called off was because authorities came across someone who had seen her and told them she was okay, that wasn’t the case, he was mistaken, according to Buster.

They’d done what they could, it was 2 a.m. and going to be getting light again by about 4:30 a.m., when she would have been able to see her way out, according to Buster.

“It was warm, so we knew she wasn’t in danger from the elements,” Buster said.

It didn’t occur to Buster the search should resume the next day, except in hindsight, he said. “It’s tragic; I am so sorry for her and her family,” he said.

“I know people want to make a story about it, that police let her down,” Buster said. “And I’ll shoulder that. I tried to find her and I didn’t.

“The way I feel about it, is my own personal feelings about it.”

Buster now knows that at one point he was within about 100 to 200 yards of her, he said. The place Tina Thode subsequently was found was north of the park, north of where they looked, according to Kytta.

It was east of a pasture at Reynolds and North Tower avenues.

Buster said when she was discovered, she was on her back in shallow water at the edge of the river. A chair and a couple bottles of water were found near her body.

“Even though she was under water when she was found, we know she didn’t drown,” he said. “The coroner said her lungs didn’t have water in them.”

Mitchell said he was told an educated guess by the coroner was she died around noon on the same day her body was recovered. What was going on between 2 a.m. on Sunday and whenever she died is just something he can’t figure out, he said.

And he wonders why she called police if she were simply lost, instead of calling him, he said. “I know 911 would have been a last resort for her,” Mitchell said. “She knew they would have taken her straight to jail, for her drug court (issue).”

“It’s a very big mystery,” he said. “Me, Roger, Lila, her grandmother, all, would like to know what happened. But as it sits right now, she’s gone.”

Her father says, after talking with police, he feels confident they did everything they could, yet still ponders if she were the mayor’s daughter, they maybe wouldn’t have called off the search.

But there’s no point in wondering, what if, he said.

He doesn’t hold a grudge. He doesn’t know what happened. And yet he still speaks as though regardless of the conclusion from the coroner, his grown daughter’s demise is still a consequence of her drug use.

“If some person could look at their life and see what happened to Tina could happen to me,” he said. “I could get wasted and not come home some day. If they could just think that through, it would help us.

“Make her count for something I guess, if somebody could learn from this.”

Centralia police detectives are conducting an investigation. The Lewis County Coroner’s Office said on July 31 that a determination about the cause and manner of  her death won’t be made until the results of toxicology tests come back. The tests can take eight to 10 weeks.

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Burning dog found near railroad tracks in Centralia

Sunday, September 1, 2013 at 8:40 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CENTRALIA – Someone set fire to a headless dog carcass in downtown Centralia.

“There was a dog that was on fire, it was put out by responders,” Riverside Fire Authority Capt. Erik Olson said. Police are handling the investigation, he said.

Firefighters and police were called about 1:20 a.m. yesterday to the scene, near the railroad tracks at Walnut Street.

Centralia area resident Jennifer Yocum was nearby at a friend’s home when the fire trucks arrived.

“We thought, oh, something’s on fire, it smells horrible,” Yocom said.

It was a large dog, that looked like it had black short hair, with some burned clothing or something similar next to it, Yocom said.

Centralia Police Department Sgt. Kurt Reichert said it appeared the dog must have already been decapitated and dead before it and some debris around it were lit on fire. He didn’t know where it came from.

Yocom was dismayed this afternoon to see the animal still lay in between the two sets of railroad tracks. Further details were not readily available today.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, September 1, 2013 at 11:22 am


• A 39-year-old Randle woman was transported to Morton General Hospital after a three-vehicle collision on eastbound U.S. Highway 12 in Glenoma yesterday afternoon. Troopers called about 4:20 p.m. to the scene near Martin Road found a Dodge Ram pickup had slowed to make a left turn and a Chevrolet Monte Carlo behind it had slowed as well, but a Ford pickup truck struck the rear of the Monte Carlo shoving it into the Dodge. Lorraine E. Rowell, in the middle car, suffered injuries the fire department described as minor. “It sounded a lot worse when it was toned out than what it was,” Lewis County Fire District 18 Chief Ed Lowe said. The driver of the Ford, Ellen M. Gleason, 54, of Randle, was cited for following too closely, according to the Washington State Patrol. None of the vehicles needed to be towed, according to the state patrol.


• Police were called just after 11 p.m. yesterday to the 1100 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia where someone had stolen a lawn chair from a front yard.


• Two men were arrested for fighting in public after police responded about 6:40 p.m. on Friday to the 500 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia. Michael H. Posey, 38, from Centralia, and Jason D. Thiery, 32, from Toledo, were both cited and then released, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Police took a report of medication stolen from a vehicle at the 2500 block of Mount Vista Road in Centralia on Friday afternoon.


• The (Aberdeen) Daily World reports that after 26 years as elected Grays Harbor County prosecutor, Stew Menefee will retire at the end of this month, although his current term does not expire until next year. Two candidates have expressed interest in the post, former county prosecutor and Superior Court judge Mike Spencer, who is currently in private practice in Aberdeen, and current Senior Deputy Prosecutor Katie Svoboda, according to news reporter Brionna Friedrich. Read about it here.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, driving under the influence, misdemeanor assault; responses for shoplifting, vandalism, stolen bicycle, collisions; pancake breakfast at the fire station in Packwood  … and more.

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Morton hospital sued for unnecessary pain, death of 96-year-old patient

Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 6:54 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A lawsuit has been filed against Morton General Hospital on behalf of an elderly woman who was discharged from its emergency room with two boxes of enemas and a misdiagnosis of constipation and died days later.

Gertrude Tibbetts was taken to the hospital with severe abdominal pain where she was given an injection of pain medication, and an X-ray and then released against her wishes a little more than an hour later.

“She was screaming in agony, stating ‘I can’t believe you are sending me home, you are killing me. No one survives pain like this’,” an attorney for her daughter states in court documents.

The visit to the East Lewis County public hospital was Feb. 26, 2010. Tibbetts, 96, was residing at a Morton nursing home so she and her daughter Jane E. Jones could spend more time together, the attorney wrote.

The attorney stated, when the nurse handed the boxes with enemas to the Heritage House representative, she asked why they couldn’t be administered at hospital. The nurse replied, the lawyer wrote, “What? Do you want a blow out in the van?” and three nurses burst out laughing while Tibbetts was screaming in the background.

The complaint filed in Lewis County Superior Court earlier this month for medical malpractice and wrongful death names the hospital, Dr. Thomas Calderon and three unknown nurses.

Tibbetts was brought back to the hospital the following day when the laxatives were ineffective and then transferred to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia. There, doctors discovered she was suffering with peritonitis due to small bowel obstruction and perforation as well as kidney failure. She was given comfort measures and died Mar 2, 2010.

“For her age, Gertrude Tibbetts was a remarkable and strong woman who was cognitively bright, and full of life, personality and humor,” the Puyullap-based attorney Talis Abolins wrote.

Abolins alleges the hospital failed when it failed to admit her, and failed to provide appropriate evaluation and care.

“She suffered tremendous pain and suffering, humiliation and fear of her impending death in the hours and days that followed,” the attorney wrote.

Multiple messages left requesting comment from hospital administrators yesterday were unreturned. Attempts to reach Calderon were unsuccessful. The parties have 20 days to respond in court to the lawsuit.

Calderon was informally disciplined by the state Medical Quality Assurance Commission for his evaluation of the patient’s condition.

He agreed to two years of probation and to undertake extra education in exchange for the commission not continuing to pursue charges of incompetence, negligence or malpractice, according to documents filed with the state Department of Health.

The commission alleged that after ordering the shot of pain medication and an X-ray which was unrevealing, Calderon did not perform a subsequent examination of Tibbetts, according to the documents.

The stipulation agreement – signed March 11, 2011 – indicated he should be sanctioned at a level comparable to practicing below the standard of care, related to causing unnecessary pain, stating the failure may not have caused the death since early discovery may not have saved her life.

The doctor did not admit any of the commission’s allegations, but was cooperative, had no previous disciplinary action since being licensed in Washington in 1998 and was released from his probation this past March.

The allegations by the commission note the patient reported her pain level as 20 on a scale of one to 10, while nurses recorded it at 10; and at discharge, the patient described her pain as a seven or eight.

The lawsuit seek damages in an amount to “be proven at trial.”

Among the reimbursements sought are medical bills of about $6,800 from Morton General Hospital and almost $16,000 from Providence St. Peter Hospital.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, August 30, 2013 at 7:29 pm


• A 35-year-old Chehalis woman called police to report her wedding ring was missing from her home on the 700 block of Southeast Adams Avenue. It turned up in a pawn shop and police have put a hold on it while they investigate, according to the Chehalis Police Department. She suspects someone she knows took it, according to police. The ring is valued at around $5,000, Deputy Chief Randy Kaut said.


• A 31-year-old Centralia man was arrested for an outstanding warrant and possession of methamphetamine about 5:20 this morning after contact with an officer at the 700 block of North Tower Avenue. Joseph L. Nickols was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police responded to the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue about 8:45 p.m. yesterday when an individual called 911 to say a man approached them and asked if they would like to purchase some morphine. Officers arrested Ronnie L. Lawrence, 45, from Onalaska, for a drug violation and booked him into the lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A deputy was called yesterday about 7:15 a.m. to the 100 block of Foster Creek Road outside Toledo after an individual discovered someone had tried to pry a rollup garage door. It occurred sometime between midnight and 7 a.m., according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Nothing appeared to be missing, according to the sheriff’s office.


• A woman who lives in the 100 block of West First Street in Centralia called 911 about 4:42 a.m. today when she discovered a motorcycle inside her garage was burned. Police and firefighters responded and concluded it had happened at least 24 hours earlier and possibly as long as three days prior, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Fire Chief Jim Walkowski said it can’t be anything else but arson. Nothing else was harmed although there was a bit of smoke damage on a wall, and why she didn’t notice it when it happened he didn’t know, he said. Firefighters collected samples and evidence and have sent them of to the crime lab, he said. Police have a person of interest they were looking for today, according to Walkowski. There’s no reason to believe it is connected with the previous string of arson fires locally, Walkowski said.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, misdemeanor assault, possession of drug paraphernalia; responses for alarm, receipt of a counterfeit bill, receipt of bad checks, graffiti, stolen wallet, found wallet, other misdemeanor theft, suspicious activity, numerous fender benders on Interstate 5 at Centralia, vehicle fire; complaint that a woman who didn’t like the way her hair coloring turned out left a beauty shop after paying only $100 of her $140 bill … and more.

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Coroner: Burns, infection killed victim of Vader house fire

Friday, August 30, 2013 at 9:58 am


By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Jeannette Dunivan-Spain died from a very bad infection due to burns she suffered in the house fire in Vader.

Dunivan-Spain, 39, was taken off life support at St. John Medical Center in Longview last Friday, eight days after she was injured in the fire.


721 C Street, Vader

The cause of the blaze is under investigation, but she told deputies she had been using a candle for light in her friend’s house which had no electricity or running water. She told her mother her blanket caught on fire.

It happened very early in the morning of Aug. 15; the one and half story house on C Street was a total loss.

She was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital where she was treated and released. The following day, she was taken to the Longview hospital, treated further and released again. Dunivan-Spain went to the hospital a third time when her condition worsened.

Lewis County Coroner’s Office Chief Deputy Coroner Dawn Harris said yesterday an autopsy revealed the cause of death was a very bad staph infection she’d had for days, because of second-degree burns to her face and upper extremities.

It was merhicillin resistant staphyococcus aureus, also known as MRSA, Harris said.

Cowlitz County Coroner Tim Davidson said the hospital requested a clinical autopsy, as the physician wanted more definition on what the patient was suffering from. Because of the law enforcement investigation into the house fire, a forensic autopsy was in order as well and it just made more sense for all to it to be handled by Lewis County, he said.

A memorial service for Dunivan-Spain will be held tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 122 Henriott Road, Toledo

For background, read:

• “Vader burn victim dies, investigation underway” from Wednesday August 28, 2013, here

• “Vader house fire injures one” from Thursday August 15, 2013, here

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Excessive force complaint lodged against Centralia police

Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 9:39 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 41-year-old Centralia man who uses a wheelchair has filed a claim against the city saying he was attacked and injured by police officers during an incident in a hallway outside his apartment door.

Trygve Nelson was followed into the building where he lives on the 200 block of West Reynolds Street by an officer who was attempting to talk with him regarding calls he had just rode his wheelchair in the middle of the road up North Pearl Street.

Nelson’s claim for damages notes his injuries, his multiple upcoming medical appointments and claims damages in the amount of $400,000. It doesn’t detail what he claims police did – only saying police wrongly attacked him – but a six-page police report from the Centralia Police Department goes into great detail.

Nelson writes the incident occurred on July 2; the police report states it occurred on June 30.

According to the police report, Officer Patricia Finch called for backup after a drunken, angry and cussing Nelson refused to give his name, and stood up from his wheelchair facing her – he is described as 6-feet 4-inches tall and weighing 230 pounds – prompting her to unsnap her Taser – before riding away from her, going inside and slamming his door.

When Sgt. Carl Buster arrived and knocked on the door four times with his flashlight, Nelson exited fast with his hands in the air and said, “What the f***,” according to police reports.

Buster states in his report that fearing he was about to be assaulted, he spun Nelson around and tried to secure him against the wall.

Finch’s and Buster’s reports tell how they tried to gain control of him and he resisted, until he was on the ground and cuffed with a roughly one inch long cut above his left eye. It left what Finch described as a small amount of blood on the floor.

As they walked outside, Nelson allegedly pulled away and grabbed at Buster’s hand, and Buster “escorted him to the ground” again, Finch wrote.

They put a leg restraint on him because he was flailing. He was yelling he had aids, was terminal and they should just kill him, the officers wrote.

This all occurred at an apartment complex owned and operated by Reliable Enterprises, an organization founded in the 1970s to assist individuals with developmental disabilities.

Nelson was bleeding profusely, and said he was on blood thinners as well as heart medication, according to the report.

At one point, he was apologetic, said he was sorry for being an A-hole and that he drank too much after 18 years of abstinence, the report states.

Nelson vomited, medics sedated him and put a tube down his throat.

He lists in his claim injuries to his head, shoulder and knee and notes he has appointments with specialists for spine, for hands and ankles and for blood, as well as his primary physician.

Nelson also claims he was denied medical care while in jail and denied access to his medications. The Lewis County Jail is run by the sheriff’s office, not the police department.

Nelson was at the emergency room for several hours, where a doctor ordered a chest X-ray and CT scan because he was unconscious, according to police.

He was cited for several misdemeanors: disorderly conduct, obstructing a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest. However, by the following morning he had allegedly pushed a hospital staff member who was attempting to discharge him, so he was booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree assault.

Centralia Police Department Chief Bob Berg said yesterday the police report was rather self-explanatory.

“Claims like this are routinely denied by our insurance carrier,” Berg stated in a written response. “Any comment beyond that would be inappropriate as potential litigation may arise from the incident.”

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 3:17 pm


• There was alcohol involved, there was a family dispute, a man punched somebody and then another man took offense and chased him with a knife around a trailer park. It happened at the Peppertree Motel and RV Park on the 1200 block of Alder Street about 9:30 p.m. yesterday. Someone handed a stick to the chasee who used it to strike Samuel L. Pearson across the back, according to the Centralia Police Department. Pearson was taken to to Providence Centralia Hospital for treatment of his injury and then booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree assault because of the knife, according to police.


• A 35-year-old Pe Ell man was arrested yesterday for second-degree assault after he allegedly used his vehicle to ram his ex-girlfriend’s vehicle as they were traveling eastbound on state Route 6 around 11 p.m. the night before. The 32-year-old woman told a deputy they were arguing and she left, and he followed her, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Daniel G. Thompson was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to Sgt. Rob Snaza. The Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office is declining to charge him.


• Centralia police serving a warrant at apartments yesterday afternoon at the 500 block of Hillkress Street detained several people and ended up arresting four for either warrants of drug violations, according to the Centralia Police Department. “When officers went inside (two units), there were multiple people, like 10 to 15 of them,” Sgt. Stacy Denham said. Rebecca J. Andrade, also known as Rebecca J. McClain, 45, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for a warrant, according to police. Denham didn’t have many details, saying it was an Anti-Crime Team case. The Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office is declining to charge three people arrested for alleged drug violations.


• A 48-year-old man from Dallas, Texas was arrested yesterday at the service station on the 1200 block of Mellen Street in Centralia after he allegedly tried to peddle pills to someone. Officers called about 10:30 a.m. by the 28-year-old man he approached ended up finding Clifton R. Young had bottle containing a variety of pills, according to the Centralia Police Department. Young was booked into the Lewis County Jail for a violation of the uniform controlled substances act, according to police.


• An officer contacted two people walking down a Centralia street about 3 o’clock this morning, found one of them had an outstanding warrant and subsequently discovered a pipe with suspected methamphetamine, according to the Centralia Police Department. It happened near North Rock and West Pine streets. Amanda M. Ervin, 24, was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession of meth, according to police.


• Police were called about 8:40 p.m. yesterday when a resident arrived home to the 1300 block of Crescent Avenue in Centralia to discover someone had stolen his Dell computer, an iPod, a backpack … and T-shirts, according to the Centralia Police Department. The case is under investigation, according to police.

• A deputy was called yesterday afternoon to a home on the 200 block of Spencer Road near Toledo where someone had broken in and stolen two sinks, an ice making machine, utility wiring and other items. The deputy was told the burglary occurred sometime since Monday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• A red 1965 Chevrolet pickup truck was reported stolen about 7 o’clock this morning from the 1000 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia. It has a primer red box and no rear window, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Centralia police took a report yesterday morning from a business owner regarding graffiti painted on several buildings, including in the area of the 100 block of South Tower Avenue.


• Firefighters were called about 10:15 p.m. yesterday when a motorist pulled over along the 800 block of state Route 507 north of Centralia because of a fire under the hood. It was extinguished, according to Riverside Fire Authority.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; responses for disputes, child custody issues, suspicious circumstances, teenager in possession of marijuana paraphernalia  … and more.

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Read about feds won’t challenge Washington marijuana law…

Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 12:20 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The feds announced this morning essentially they won’t get involved in newly legalized recreational marijuana for adults in Washington as long as the state is appropriately strict in regulating it.

Marijuana is illegal under federal law, but voters in November passed Initiative 502 that allows for persons over 21 to possess up to an ounce of marijuana.

The U.S. Department of Justice today announced an update to its federal marijuana enforcement policy. Jenny A. Durkan, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington, shared a statement.

“Based on assurances that Washington and Colorado will impose an appropriately strict regulatory system, the Department has informed the governors of both states that it is deferring its right to challenge their legalization laws at this time.” reports federal authorities will however step in under certain conditions such as selling to minors, illegally using firearms in its cultivation or retail sale, growing it on federal lands or if evidence arises money from it is going to criminal enterprises or its being shipped out of state.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office reminds members of the public it remains against federal law to bring any amount of marijuana onto federal property, including all federal buildings, federal lands including national parks and forests, military installations, and courthouses. Individuals that do so will be subject to federal penalties.

Read more here

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News brief: Tanker truck overturns on I-5 at Grand Mound

Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 9:25 am

Interstate 5 near the exit 88 interchange. / Courtesy photo by West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A tanker truck carrying lubricating oil wrecked this morning on northbound Interstate 5 at Grand Mound.

Troopers and aid called just before 8 o’clock found the truck laying on its side on the shoulder; the driver sustained only minor injuries, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

Nothing spilled, the tank was not compromised, according to responders.

One lane will be blocked for an extended period of time as the tank is pumped, according to the Washington State Patrol

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Vader burn victim dies, investigation underway

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Updated at 9:55 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The 39-year-old woman who suffered burns in a Vader house fire almost two weeks ago has died.

Jeannette Dunivan-Spain was put on life support last week at St. John Medical Center in Longview and two days later, she died, according to her mother Mary Dunivan.

“By Friday, she had no brain activity, they do not know what went wrong,” Dunivan said.


Jeannette Dunivan-Spain
1973 – 2013

The mother of two boys and sister to three brothers lived in Vader all her life, although she was born in Longview. She was estranged from her husband and lived in a fifth-wheel trailer in the area, but had recently begun staying at her mother’s home west of town.

“She was May Day queen, a good ball player,” Mary Dunivan said. “She was very smart.”

The night of the fire, she stayed with an old friend, in his house on C Street that had no electricity or running water.

Firefighters called just before 1 a.m. on Aug. 15 found the one and half story structure fully engulfed in flames, which were spreading to the neighbor’s place. Dunivan-Spain told deputies who arrived that she ran outside after trying to knock down the flames from a tipped over candle.

“She said the candle caught her blanket on fire, she woke up she was on fire,” her mother said.

Cowlitz-Lewis Fire District 20 Chief Richard Underdahl said yesterday he learned of her death but travels a lot in his work and hasn’t had a chance yet to speak with investigators

“I know the sheriff’s office is doing a follow up investigation,” he said.

Underdahl said at the time he believed she suffered second-degree burns, but he never saw her because she was at the end of the street with deputies and he was fighting the fire.

Paramedics from Lewis County Medic 1 arrived and called for Life flight, he said. A helicopter wasn’t available because of the weather so she was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to Underdahl.

Her burns were pretty bad, her mother said.

Dunivan said she’s still trying to make sense of what happened and why the Centralia hospital discharged her daughter that night instead of getting her to a burn center.

“She would be alive today, I believe, if that had happened,” she said.

Dunivan was stunned when the hospital said her daughter was being sent home, and that there was nothing more for them to do for her. “They wouldn’t even help me dress her,” she said.

“It was a couple hours after she got there,” she said. “I said, she should be given antibiotics, they said no, we gave her some cream, some pain pills and some bandages.”

Dunivan, who used to work as a certified nursing assistant, said her daughter had burns on her arms, her face and her legs. Her hair was singed, she said. The hospital said they were second-degree. “On her hand, looking at it now, it was probably third-degree,” she said.

The following day, a friend’s husband drove Dunivan-Spain to a hospital in Longview.

“We took her to St. John’s, they were flabbergasted Centralia had not done more,” Dunivan said.

They rewrapped her bandages, gave her antibiotics, pain medicine and more cream, she said.

Back at her mother’s home on Saturday, she seemed to be doing better. On Sunday she even went to the local cemetery with her husband to visit the graves of her father and little girl, her mother said.

“When I got home Monday evening, she was a mess,” Dunivan said. “She had chills, she was delirious. I don’t know what happened. She went bad pretty darn fast.”

An ambulance was called, but her daughter wanted her husband to drive her back to St. John Medical Center, and he did. And she never came home.

Dunivan-Spain began to improve on Tuesday, but by Wednesday, she’d had a heart attack, her gall bladder had an infection, her kidneys were failing and her lungs were in a bad way, her mother said.

The hospital had asked her daughter what kind of measures they should undertake, and her daughter told them do everything they could, she said.

“They put her on dialysis, they gave her everything they had to offer,” Dunivan said.

Her life support was disconnected on Friday.

“This is a tragic, tragic thing,” Dunivan said. “So many unanswered things we may never have answers for.”

Dunivan-Spain’s body was turned over to the Cowlitz County Coroner’s Office, who facilitated its transfer to the Lewis County Coroner’s Office. A detective with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is working with a fire investigator in the case.

Structure fires ending in death are infrequent in Lewis County.

Sheriff’s Office detective Sgt. Dusty Breen said the last he could recall was the fall of 2010 when a fire broke out in the home of 54-year-old Gary Ike on Nicholson Road north of Toledo.

And about four years ago, a man ended up dying from smoke inhalation when his house on Burnt Ridge Road in Onalaska burned, Breen said.

“He was in the process of moving out, there was no electricity and the house caught fire while he was sleeping,” Breen said. “He’d borrowed some candles.”

According to the sheriff’s office, their investigation is awaiting the results of an autopsy, as it’s not certain it was injuries from the fire that killed her.

A spokesperson for Providence Centralia Hospital couldn’t speak about the treatment given to Dunivan-Spain but said they are committed to the highest level of patient care.

“We take any complaint very seriously,” Chris Thomas said. “And we have a thorough investigative process that is conducted when we do receive a complaint.”

As Dunivan mourns, she’s feeling gratitude for the last couple of weeks before the fire having so much time with her daughter.

Dunivan-Spain had recently been laid off from her job at a gas station convenience store and had an appointment about drug treatment coming up, her mother said.

Yes, she had a drug problem – everyone in Vader does, her mother said. But she wasn’t a typical Vaderite, she said.

Her daughter was the kind of person who never spoke poorly of others, she said.

“She never lost her innocence, she never harmed anyone, but herself,” she said.


A memorial service for Jeannette Dunivan-Spain will be held on Saturday at 2 o’clock in the afternoon at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 122 Henriott Road, Toledo, Wash.


For background, read “Vader house fire injures one” from Thursday August 15, 2013, here

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News brief: Bridge work starts at I-5 near Wal-Mart exit

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 11:34 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Drivers on Interstate 5 and Chamber of Commerce Way in Chehalis will notice changes to their trips beginning today as work to replace a damaged bridge girder gets underway.

During construction, motorists will encounter single-lane closures between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays and at least four overnight full closures of northbound I-5 and the bridge will take place, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The $682,000 project comes after three over-height loads on trucks struck the Chamber Way overpass during the previous year, according to a news release from DOT.

Later this summer, neither pedestrians nor wide loads will be able to cross the bridge for roughly six weeks. Construction is expected to be complete this fall.

Get updates and details about the project here.