Cheney Free Press -


Eastern student commits suicide


January 25, 2018

An individual believed to be an Eastern Washington University student apparently took his own life after a short chase through Cheney by area law enforcement.

In a Jan. 23 news release, Cheney police department Capt. Rick Beghtol said on the evening of Jan. 22, Cheney officers received information of a possibly armed, suicidal person in a vehicle near the area of Betz Road and Washington Street. Attempts to locate the vehicle and suspect were initially unsuccessful, and information on the incident was relayed to officials with Eastern Washington University and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

About a half hour later, the vehicle was again spotted and attempts made to contact the driver via a traffic stop and then cellphone. The attempts were initially unsuccessful, but after a short pursuit through Cheney, the vehicle finally came to a stop on Salnave Road between Presley and Ridgeview drives.

“Once officers were able to make contact with the vehicle it was determined that the only occupant of the vehicle was deceased,” Beghtol said in the release.

The Spokane Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating the incident and will release the name of the individual at a later date. Next of kin have been notified, Beghtol added.

Cheney officials added the victim was the subject of a report of an attempted suicide on the 1000 block of Betz Road on Jan. 19.

EWU media specialist Dave Meany said the university was told Cheney is handling the issue, adding he was not “entirely sure of the circumstances.” He said the police department would be the “official” source of any information.

John McCallum can be reached at


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