Hit-and-run sends SK woman to Harborview

A hit-and-run driver on Friday set off a chain reaction that sent one local woman to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center with serious injuries.

According to Washington State Patrol reports, a 20-year-old South Kitsap man was stopped facing south on Phillips Road at Sedgwick Road just before 3 p.m. Friday presumably waiting to turn onto the arterial.

State Patrol officials aren’t entirely sure what happened next, but the man apparently drove his 1986 Toyota into the rear left side of an eastbound 1988 Honda Accord passing in front of him on Sedgwick.

When the Toyota hit the Accord, it knocked the Accord broadside into oncoming traffic and into the path of a westbound 2003 Chevy Suburban.

The Suburban, unable to stop in time, struck the Accord on the driver’s door, badly injuring the driver — a 23-year-old South Kitsap woman.

The driver of the Toyota, for reasons still unknown to police, immediately drove off without leaving any information with the drivers of the other two cars.

The driver of the Suburban, a 31-year-old South Kitsap woman, was uninjured in the crash.

The driver of the Accord, however, was airlifted to Harborview, where she was listed in serious condition in the hospital’s intensive-care unit Monday afternoon.

The Accord was totaled and towed to the State Patrol District 8 bullpen for safekeeping.

State Patrol spokesman Trooper Glen Tyrrell said it was the missing driver’s friends who proved his eventual downfall. Troopers at the accident scene reported a single car coming by the site frequently and asking authorities about the status of the injured woman.

“That leads us to be a little suspicious,” Tyrrell said.

Eventually, someone contacted police and told them where to find the 20-year-old man who had left the scene of the collision. Tyrrell said he doesn’t know exactly who called the tip in — there were reportedly three other people in the Toyota at the time of the accident.

Police then surprised the 20-year-old at home and arrested him for injury hit-and-run — a felony.

Tyrrell said there were no reports that would have indicated the 20-year-old was under the influence of any controlled substance at the time of the crash. However, he continued, on Monday the case investigation was still in its early stages and no details were available.

“We have (the suspect), but I don’t know if they’re talking,” Tyrrell said.

The Toyota was also hauled to the State Patrol bullpen for further study.

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