EVERETT — An Everett man has been charged with a hit and run that left a pedestrian dead in 2019.
Jesse Thayer, now 37, of north Everett, is accused of striking the woman about a block from his home and not pulling over to see what he had hit.
Police had spoken with Heidi Allen, 37, of Mukilteo, earlier in the evening on May 25, 2019, because she’d fallen asleep in public, on a patch of grass near the corner of Colby Avenue and 13th Street.
She was in no apparent distress, according to charging papers.
One witness reported seeing her picking up things in the street about three hours later, and just a few minutes before the crash.
Around 9:30 p.m., two people walking on 13th Street found a woman’s body and scattered belongings on 13th at Grand Avenue. An autopsy confirmed Allen died instantly from a neck injury, and it appeared she had been dragged over 200 feet underneath a car, tearing off her right boot and leaving it in the street.
Allen was a mother of two children, who were then ages 8 and 20.
A little over a week later, an Everett police detective drove through the neighborhood and noticed a Ford Fusion parked at a home about a block from the crash scene, with its front grill broken in such a way that suggested a slow collision with something that had been low to the ground, such as a crouched person, the charges say.
The detective was taking a closer look at the car when Thayer came out of his home on Grand. Thayer reportedly told the detective the Ford belonged to him. The officer replied that it looked like the car had hit something. Thayer acknowledged he’d been driving around 9 p.m. May 25, on his way home from Legion Memorial golf course, and that he recalled hearing a thud.
“He said he had driven over some garbage in the road on 13th Street,” say the charges filed by deputy prosecutor Tobin Darrow. “He said he made a mistake.”
He also stated he had known about the pedestrian crash. He’d seen the police investigating. Thayer agreed to a recorded interview at the Everett police station. He talked for three hours, the charges say. Thayer told police he “wanted to help them catch the person responsible for striking the pedestrian,” according to the charges. He reported he’d been driving home from a golf course, and it was getting dark, and he hit something in the road that looked like a backpack and a blanket — “random trash,” he said. He glanced back to confirm it was definitely trash, he told the police.
“He later said if he did run over a person it was definitely not an ‘alive, moving person,’” according to the charges.
Later he saw a major police response right at that same spot, but he decided not to talk with officers because he didn’t want to get in the way, according to his interview. He stated he did not drink alcohol or smoke marijuana before getting behind the wheel, though he did drink some beer after parking. According to the charges, he sweated “profusely” during the interview.
Police seized the Ford as evidence.
A state lab tested a bloodstain on the car’s muffler, and the DNA came back as a match to Allen. There was also torn fabric on the undercarriage that appeared to be from Allen’s jacket.
Earlier police reports stated Thayer spoke with his mother on the night of the collision, and he “kept repeating that he didn’t see anything over and over until she became upset and yelled at him,” according to her account.
Police booked Thayer into Snohomish County Jail in June 2019. His bail was set at $100,000, then reduced to $50,000 a few days later. He was able to post that amount. He has been out of jail since then.
Formal charges were filed Thursday. He’s now summoned for an arraignment Aug. 13, in Snohomish County Superior Court.
Thayer has no prior criminal record.
He’s charged with hit and run of a fatality accident. If convicted as charged, under state guidelines, he faces about 3 years in prison.
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; email@example.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.