By Diana Hefley Herald Writer
EVERETT – A man who severely injured an Everett police officer in July when he slammed into her patrol car was sentenced to seven years in prison today.
Officer Suzanne Eviston decided against being in the courtroom to face Alan Brian Waterman, 19. She is undergoing a grueling recovery and wasn’t up to the hearing, Everett police detective Craig Davis said.
Eviston, a 10-year veteran with Everett, suffered multiple broken bones and was hospitalized for months. It still isn’t clear if she will be able to return to her regular duties with the department. Her police dog Axel also was hurt in the crash.
“Today she expressed doubt she’ll be able to return to law enforcement at all,” Davis told Superior Court Judge Larry McKeeman. “She hopes she’ll be able to come back. It’s up in the air.”
Craig and Everett police officer Michael Braley recounted the horrific crash that nearly killed their colleague and friend. Braley witnessed the collision and attempted to pull Eviston from the wreckage.
“Seeing the impact and the amount of damage that occurred instantly, at that moment I just assumed she was dead,” Braley said.
Waterman, an ex-felon, was the driver of as stolen Jeep Cherokee that slammed into Eviston’s patrol car after she was called to a reported burglary in a south Everett industrial area. There was so much force in the collision and so much damage to her patrol car that investigators at first thought that Waterman deliberately rammed into her.
Later, investigators determined that the Jeep left 60 feet of skid marks, leading them to believe that Waterman was going too fast to stop in time.
Waterman admitted smoking methamphetamine before he and two companions broke into the fenced area of a business.
According to documents, Waterman admitted breaking the lock on the gate, and he intended to steal copper wire. About that time, a witness called police about suspicious vehicles in the area.
When police arrived, Waterman drove rapidly past two approaching cruisers, then slammed into Eviston’s car.