The 22-year-old man had been arrested a day earlier in Oak Harbor for allegedly driving while high on meth, the Washington State Patrol said.
The man accused of ramming vehicles on Interstate 5 in Seattle on Wednesday had been arrested a day earlier in Oak Harbor for allegedly driving while high on meth, the Washington State Patrol said.
The 22-year-old Greenbank, Island County, man caused a mess during Wednesday evening‘s commute when he crashed into vehicles before driving the wrong way on an exit ramp, the State Patrol said. He then abandoned his vehicle and pushed his way into a Seattle business and wrestled with another driver in an apparent attempt to steal a vehicle, Trooper Rick Johnson said Thursday.
According to Johnson, the man told troopers he had used meth earlier, and though uninjured, was taken to Harborview Medical Center for a blood draw before he was booked into the King County Jail about 2 a.m. Thursday.
It turns out the same man was arrested just after midnight Tuesday in Oak Harbor on investigation of driving while intoxicated on meth, Johnson said. He was released from the Island County Jail at 4:49 a.m. Tuesday, jail records show.
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Expected to make his first court appearance in King County District Court on Friday, the man is being held on investigation of vehicular theft, assault, driving while intoxicated and nine counts of hit and run, jail records show.
Miraculously, no one was seriously injured during the series of rush-hour crashes that started on northbound I-5 near the Michigan Street exit, Johnson said.
He said detectives expect to serve a search warrant on the man’s vehicle.
According to the State Patrol:
Drivers started calling 911 at 4:52 p.m. Wednesday about a vehicle involved in a series of hit-and-runs. The first vehicle was hit north of the Michigan Street exit but before the exit leading to the West Seattle Bridge, Johnson said.
The driver took the exit to South Columbian Way, but he ended up driving the wrong way to the West Seattle Freeway, according to Johnson. After colliding with another vehicle, he abandoned his vehicle on the ramp and ran off — but “we got great descriptions” from witnesses, who told dispatchers the man was seen attempting to get into other vehicles, Johnson said.
The driver struck four vehicles on I-5 and another two vehicles on the ramp, he said.
At some point, the man went into a business on Airport Way South and may have locked himself inside, but an employee told him to leave, Johnson continued.
After sitting outside the business and acting erratically, the man ran into traffic on Airport Way South, jumped on top of a vehicle, and when the driver pulled over, the man slid off, breaking the car’s side-view mirror, Johnson said.
Then, “he was able to get into somebody’s vehicle, but the owner was able to wrestle away the keys,” and another person helped the driver get the man out of the vehicle, according to Johnson. Seattle police officers arrived and got control of the man at Airport Way South and South Horton Street, he said. From there, troopers took custody of the 22-year-old.
From the first 911 call to the man’s arrest, the entire incident lasted 31 minutes.
“During the whole chaos, we found he was arrested by the State Patrol in Oak Harbor early Tuesday,” Johnson said.
In that incident, troopers pulled the man over for speeding. He had allegedly been using meth and gave a voluntary blood sample, and soon after, he was released from jail, Johnson said.