Zachary Kier appeared in a jail courtroom Monday, three months after a hit-and-run crash seriously injured a man and a woman in Marysville. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)

Zachary Kier appeared in a jail courtroom Monday, three months after a hit-and-run crash seriously injured a man and a woman in Marysville. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)

After months, driver caught in Marysville crash that hurt 3

The August wreck left one man in need of 39 surgeries. Months later, Zach Kier is in custody.

MARYSVILLE — Three months after a devastating hit-and-run in Marysville, police arrested a man suspected of causing the head-on crash that fractured a woman’s bones, injured a man’s back and left another man comatose for weeks and in need of 39 surgeries.

Officers booked Zachary Kier, 27, of Seattle, into jail around 1:30 a.m. Monday, when he and his girlfriend were caught in a stolen car during a stolen property sting in King County, according to Marysville police.

His girlfriend, 36, had been trying to sell a stolen kitchen blender through Facebook Marketplace, Marysville police Sgt. Jeff Franzen said. When she arrived to make a sale, Kier was in a passenger seat. Officers took him into custody.

Early on the morning of Aug. 3, a Marysville police officer tailed Kier as he drove a Jeep Cherokee more than double the 35 mph speed limit on State Avenue, charging papers say. The driver reportedly blew past a red light at 40 mph and crossed into oncoming lanes of Quil Ceda Boulevard, before colliding head-on with a Chrysler 300 at a roundabout.

The crash left massive damage to both vehicles. Kier allegedly ran for the woods as people screamed in the wrecked cars. An injured passenger in the Jeep remained in a coma for a month, according to the charges. He was transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with fractured vertebrae. All his ribs were broken and his internal organs were crushed. He needed dozens of surgeries. He reported Kier said he wasn’t going to let police get close enough to see his license plate.

“Trust me,” Kier told the two passengers, the court papers say. “We are getting away.”

The group was using drugs that morning, the man reported to police.

The man reported Kier was not swerving around a car in front of him, and instead he just drove the Jeep into oncoming lanes.

The other passenger in the Jeep was Kier’s girlfriend. She reluctantly identified him as the driver, according to the charges.

A woman, 71, suffered shattered bones and fractures to her ribs, neck and ankle in the Chrysler. Doctors used “plates, screws and wires” in surgery. She was treated at Harborview. A man, 71, in the car had a severely sprained ankle and severe lower back pain.

Meanwhile, the search for Kier lasted months.

Charging papers say in late August, police prepared to serve a warrant on an Auburn home where he’d been staying, but before officers could execute the warrant, Kier was gone.

Days later, a family member filed an order seeking custody of the young daughter of Kier’s girlfriend, citing a diagnosed mental illness, as well as drug addictions to heroin and methamphetamine.

“I don’t know how to reach her,” the petitioner wrote. “ … She has been currently hanging with (fugitive), Zach (Kier).”

On Nov. 7, while Kier was still at large, Snohomish County prosecutors charged him with two counts of vehicular assault, hit and run in an injury crash and attempting to elude law enforcement.

Court records show Kier has a record of forgery, felony theft, identity theft, illicit drug possession, motor vehicle theft and possession of a stolen vehicle. He’s been convicted of driving with a suspended license four times in the past decade, racing and driving under the influence.

Superior Court Judge Marybeth Dingledy set his bail Monday at $250,000. Kier pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Outside of the courtroom, deputy prosecutor Tobin Darrow said it appeared Kier was playing a kind of game of chicken with the oncoming car, to make Marysville police stop chasing him.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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