Vancouver woman pleads not guilty in 2010 fatal hit and run

She allegedly helped husband flee crash that killed passenger

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

Published:

Updated: February 28, 2012, 6:09 PM

 

A Vancouver woman accused of helping her husband flee a crash that ultimately killed his passenger pleaded not guilty Tuesday to felony hit and run charges.

Summoned to appear, Sarah D. Graham, 37, was arraigned on charges of hit and run involving a death, rendering criminal assistance and making a false statement to a public servant.

Trial was set for May 14.

Judge Rich Melnick appointed attorney Steven Rucker to represent her.

The charges relate to an Oct. 16, 2010, incident in Amboy in which Graham’s husband, Jason Brock Graham, 37, is accused of driving recklessly when he lost control of the car and hit a tree. His passenger and good friend, Harold Sloan Blanchard, 27, was injured and left trapped in the car. He died a week later in the hospital.

Jason Graham is already charged with vehicular homicide and felony hit and run. His trial is also scheduled for May 14.

On Tuesday, prosecutors recommended Graham be placed on supervised release pending trial. Melnick granted the request.

Prosecutors allege that following the crash, Jason Graham left the scene on foot before paramedics and deputies arrived. He called his wife from his cellphone to pick him up.

When Sarah Graham drove into the area, she was stopped by a sheriff’s deputy, who told her she needed to take a detour because of the crash scene. During the conversation, court papers allege, she told the deputy she was visiting friends in the area.

She picked her husband up east of the crash scene and drove him to a nearby hospital, where he was put under observation for possible injuries. He was met by deputies and allegedly admitted to not contacting emergency personnel following the crash, according to court papers.