A stand-up comedian who crashed his Subaru into several pedestrians near Pike Place Market on Thursday had smoked a synthetic form of marijuana before the incident, according to Seattle police.

Share story

A stand-up comedian who crashed his Subaru into several pedestrians near Pike Place Market on Thursday had smoked a synthetic form of marijuana before the incident, according to Seattle police.

Travis C. Lipski, 39, appeared before a King County District Court judge on Friday and was ordered held for investigation of vehicular assault, with bail set at $75,000. Prosecutors have until Tuesday to charge him, according to Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

After he was arrested, Lipski told investigators that he had smoked synthetic marijuana known as “K2” before driving, according to a Seattle police report released on Friday.

Authorities say K2 and other similar smokable herbal blends can be legal, depending on the ingredients. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), those types of herbs offer a “marijuana-like” high.

Witnesses reported seeing Lipski “slumped over the wheel” of his vehicle as it headed toward the Market around 11:30 a.m. Thursday, according to a Seattle police report.

Lipski’s 1997 Subaru wagon was traveling west down Stewart Street past First Avenue when the vehicle sideswiped a parked car, went airborne, struck three pedestrians and crashed into a produce truck parked in an alley, police said.

The impact of the crash forced the produce truck to partially spin around and hit a Honda Accord parked on Stewart Street, police said. The Honda, in turn, struck a Nissan parked behind it.

A 25-year-old woman who was pinned between the Subaru and the truck was listed in satisfactory condition Friday at Harborview Medical Center, said hospital spokesman Susan Gregg.

A 57-year-old man who was hit by Lipski’s vehicle was in serious condition at the hospital. A 54-year-old woman who was grazed by the wagon was treated and released from Harborview on Thursday, Gregg said.

The driver of the produce truck, who was in his vehicle when it was hit, was not injured, police said. Neither the Honda nor the Nissan was occupied.

Lipski is a stand-up comedian who moved to Seattle about a year ago, his friend Jeff Pearson told KING-TV.

The police report made no mention of any mechanical trouble with Lipski’s Subaru, but Pearson told KING-TV that Lipski had recently complained of having trouble with the brakes on his vehicle.

Police said they performed field sobriety tests on Lipski and concluded he was under the influence.

Lipski was taken to Harborview Medical Center for a blood draw before he was booked into the King County Jail. Lipski’s blood will be tested for drugs and alcohol, authorities said.

Regardless of whether a drug is permitted by law, driving while impaired is illegal.

According to Seattle police, Lipski works for a local company that provides roadside assistance to motorists.

In November, the DEA started pushing to make K2, Spice, Red X Dawn and other smokable “fake pot” blends, which can be found in head shops and online, illegal. Several states have banned the blends.

Jodie Underwood, spokeswoman for the DEA in Seattle, said agents haven’t seen much of the drug locally.

Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com