State Patrol suggests charges in crash that killed 5 children

SPOKANE – Nearly 11 months after five children from one family were killed in a head-on crash, the Washington State Patrol has recommended charging the driver of the other vehicle with five counts of vehicular homicide.

Spokane County prosecutor Steve Tucker said he heard from State Patrol officials on Tuesday that the investigation report had been delivered.

Patrol investigators have said Clifford Helm, 56, of Deer Park, veered through the median and into oncoming traffic on U.S. 395 north of Spokane on Nov. 1.

The pickup collided with another pickup truck driven by Jeffrey Schrock of Chewelah, killing the man’s five children and seriously injuring both drivers.

Killed were Carmen, 12; Jana, 10; Carinna, 8; Jerryl, 5; and Craig, 2. Six weeks after the crash, Jeffrey Schrock’s wife Carolyn gave birth to a baby girl. Carolyn Schrock was not involved in the crash.

Jeffrey Schrock underwent surgeries to fix a broken jaw, knees and right arm and was hospitalized for weeks.

Helm’s blood toxicology results showed nothing out of the ordinary.

Deputy prosecutor Clint Francis said it was too early to say what charges might actually be filed.

Helm’s lawyer, Carl Oreskovich, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

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