A driver in Lewis County is facing serious charges after an accident on Interstate 5 on Dec. 3 led to his arrest. Washington authorities arrested the 36-year-old man, who now faces drunk driving charges as well as assault and vehicular assault charges pertaining to the crash. He made his first court appearance the following day and was due back in court as of Dec. 7.
According to police records, the man rear-ended a pickup truck while allegedly speeding at approximately 70 miles per hour. The pickup truck, driven by a 60-year-old man, left the road and struck a tree. He and two passengers were badly hurt and transported to local hospitals. The 36-year-old driver was uninjured in the crash, but his vehicle was badly damaged.
Troopers on the scene said the man was violent when approached, striking officers and throwing items from his vehicle at them before being hit with a taser and then restrained. Officers say they subjected him to a Breathalyzer test which reportedly returned a blood alcohol level of .09, just above the legal limit. He was summarily arrested and now faces multiple charges.
The details of this case will have to be carefully reviewed by Washington defense representation. Any scenario in which police employ use of force to subdue a suspect should be subjected to intense scrutiny. If police are found to have violated the man's rights at any point during the alleged altercation and subsequent arrest, the charges, including the drunk driving charges, may have to be reviewed by the court. In the best-case scenario, the charges could be dropped altogether.
Source: chronline.com, "Driver Faces Assault, Vehicular Assault Charges After I-5 Accident", Natalie Johnson, Dec. 4, 2015