COEUR d’ALENE — A Rathdrum police officer was killed Saturday in an off-duty vehicle crash north of Newport, Wash.
Officer Jonathan Franco, 27, died after the motorcycle he was driving struck the rear of a 1996 Plymouth Voyager van driven by Ronald Sumner of Spokane.
Washington State Patrol is investigating the crash that occurred as both vehicles were traveling west near milepost 415, four miles south of Cusick in Pend Oreille County. The patrol report states Sumner’s vehicle was struck by Franco’s motorcycle after Sumner’s vehicle slowed for an injured deer in the road. Debris from the motorcycle struck a third vehicle traveling east on the highway.
“Jonathan was very personable, interacting very well with the community and especially with children,” wrote Rathdrum Police Chief Kevin Fuhr, in a statement released Sunday. “Jonathan was active in his church, was an avid gun collector, enjoyed traveling and riding his motorcycle.”
Franco was hired by the Rathdrum Police Department in 2006 and served as a patrol officer.