Wife Defends Husband At Helm Trial

SPOKANE — Sandy Helm took the stand Tuesday in her husband Clifford’s defense at his vehicular homicide trial, where she said she believes it was a coughing fit that led her husband to black out and veer into oncoming traffic.

She was driving a few minutes behind her husband the day of the crash in which five children of the Schrock family were killed and described what happened when she came upon the scene, not realizing at first her husband had been in the collision.

“I remember falling down on my knees and a young man that I recognized came to my aid,” she said.

Mrs. Helm says every fall, her husband develops a serious cough and described one incident weeks after the crash in which Clifford coughed so hard he fell to the ground.

“He just broke down in tears and said â??I don’t know what God’s doing to me,'” she said.

Several doctors also testified Tuesday that Helm’s coughing-blackout defense is plausible.

Clifford Helm is scheduled to take the witness stand Wednesday morning and his attorneys plan to wrap up their case by the afternoon.