Authorities in Clark County are investigating a Sunday night road rage incident that ended in a man’s suicide.
Kenneth Hartson, 42, of Vancouver allegedly shot himself after he was cornered by police at the edge of a driveway in Brush Prairie.
The event that came to a fatal conclusion began at about 9:43 p.m., when Lindi Seifert, 24, of Vancouver reported she had been driving northbound along Northeast 117th Avenue in Brush Prairie when a driver in a newer Dodge pickup truck shot out two windows in her car near Northeast 149th Street, according to a news release issued by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. It is unclear what preceded Hartson allegedly firing shots at Seifert’s car.
Seifert followed the truck to the edge of Battle Ground, taking down the vehicle’s license number.
A short time later, a deputy spotted the truck on Northeast Padden Parkway near Northeast 152nd Avenue. The deputy followed Hartson as he waited for additional units to help stop the truck. Hartson, according to Sgt. Tony Barnes, ignored the deputy as he sped on northbound state Highway 503.
Deputies used spike strips at Northeast 131st Street and SR 503, flattening the truck’s passenger side tires. Undeterred, Hartson continued, turning onto Northeast 149th Street. He traveled to the end of the narrow rural road to a dead end, where officers used a “PIT” maneuver to pin his truck against a tree.
Hartson took out part of a white fence and left skidmarks in the mud. A chunk of bark was ripped off the cherry tree.
With nowhere to go, deputies say Hartson killed himself with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. No deputies fired their weapons.
“I heard, Put your hands up,’” said Emily Stewart, 18, who was on the phone when she heard sirens and peered out her window at “six or seven cop cars.”
The Clark County Major Crimes Unit is investigating.