A Thurston County man was charged with vehicular homicide after state troopers said he caused a fatal car accident and then ran from the scene.
Erik A Scott, 37, was charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and hit and run resulting in death. He was being held in the Thurston County Jail as of Monday afternoon.
According to a probable cause affidavit, at around 10 p.m. Saturday, Washington State Patrol troopers responded to a serious two-vehicle collision on Old Highway 99 north of Waldrick Road. It was dark and rainy at the time.
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived first on the scene and were diverting traffic from the collision site. A 54-year-old man was pronounced dead on the scene and a 51-year-old woman had been transported to an area hospital with injuries. Documents indicate the woman was driving the car and the deceased rode as a passenger.
A Jeep was on the scene, but the driver was unaccounted for. Investigators determined the Jeep struck the victim’s car from behind at a high rate of speed. Witnesses who saw the crash told authorities the Jeep had been moving erratically before striking the victim’s car. Witnesses then said the Jeep’s driver left the vehicle and fled the scene.
Authorities found a man, later identified as Scott, hiding outside to the north of the crash site, according to court documents. His appearance matched the description witnesses provided.
WSP troopers said Scott smelled like “intoxicants.”
“The defendant’s eyes were watery, he stared with a fixed gaze and his speech was slurred. The defendant had a mark on his left chest that appeared to be caused by the driver’s side seatbelt,” read a WSP trooper’s report.
Scott told troopers he was driving from Tenino to his home. He was in possession of the keys to the Jeep, according to the probable cause affidavit. Scott declined to make a statement or provide comment on the crash to authorities, although he did say he had taken anti-anxiety and anti-depression medication before driving, according to court documents.
“I formed the opinion the defendant had been driving his vehicle in Thurston County while under the influence of intoxicating liquor and or drugs and was unable to safely operate a motor vehicle. I formed the opinion the defendant’s actions were the proximate cause of a collision resulting in the death of another person,” read the state trooper’s report.
Before being booked into the jail later that night, Scott was taken to Capitol Medical Center for a blood draw. Results are pending. Hospital staff noted he didn’t have serious injuries qualifying a stay at the hospital.
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