Hit-and-run suspect wanted to avoid DUI, police say

EVERETT — An Arlington man arrested for investigation of running over his girlfriend with his car Monday allegedly told police he drove off because he was afraid he would get a DUI.

The suspect, 53, has another drunken-driving case pending in Cascade District Court in Arlington, according to court papers. In that case, which was filed in July, he allegedly had a blood-alcohol level of .137, well above the .08 level for intoxication in Washington state.

On Monday, the couple was returning home on the Mountain Loop Highway after spending the day in Verlot. The man admitted to detectives that he and the woman were arguing most of the day and she wanted to get out of the vehicle, court papers said. He said the woman, 58, jumped from the vehicle, which was traveling at about 35 mph.

The man said “he then felt the vehicle thump like driving over a bump,” court papers said.

The suspect told detectives he accidentally drove over her, and then left the scene, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Shari Ireton said.

The woman was found near where the highway crosses 119th Street NE. She was flown by helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where she was treated for head, arm and leg injuries.

Deputies said the woman was lying “lifeless” along the edge of the road and other cars stopped to give aid.

The man left the scene without identifying himself to authorities.

“He (drove) off because he was afraid he would be arrested for DUI,” deputy prosecutor Kathy Jo Blake said in court Wednesday.

The suspect was booked into the Snohomish County Jail on Tuesday morning for investigation of being involved in a hit-and-run injury accident.

Deputies later learned that the suspect stopped by a Granite Falls gas station where he told the clerk he was having a bad day because his girlfriend had just jumped out of his vehicle while he was driving and she was being flown to Harborview.

Bail was set at $50,000 in Everett District Court on Wednesday.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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