Hit-and-run accident reported at 25th and Main

Suspect may have been fleeing state patrol

By Craig Brown , Patty Hastings and Paul Suarez

Published:

Updated: October 24, 2012, 5:08 PM

 
photoPolice take witness statements after a hit-and-run accident Wednesday morning in Vancouver's Uptown Village.

(/The Columbian)

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A husband and wife were arrested in downtown Vancouver at midday Wednesday after the driver allegedly ran from a hit-and-run crash at 25th and Main streets and was found by bystanders.

Here's how the incident played out:

A Washington State Patrol trooper saw a pickup truck traveling faster than the speed limit on Interstate 5 south, according to Trooper Will Finn, state patrol spokesman. The trooper attempted to stop the black Toyota truck, but it sped to the Main Street exit. The trooper canceled pursuit, Finn said.

After a few minutes, the truck collided with a Lexus at 25th and Main in Uptown Village, about a block south of Fourth Plain Boulevard. The car's driver took off on foot, Finn said.

Steve Mode, owner of nearby Main Street Auto Care, heard the crash from his shop and saw the man try to run.

"I didn't think that he should be leaving," Mode said. He tried to get the suspect to stay on the scene. After the man took a few unsuccessful swings, he was able to get away, Mode said.

Todd Frank had just come out of the Starbucks on Main Street when he heard the crash.

"The sound of the impact was pretty bad," Frank said.

The driver of the Lexus, a woman, got out of her car and threw her hands in the air, he said.

Frank and several bystanders saw the driver of the pickup take off on foot, and several people tried to follow him, but they eventually lost sight of him. A motorcycle police officer circled the area looking for the man, who was supposedly wearing blue jeans and a red sweater.

Eventually, Frank found the driver hiding under a car a few blocks away and yelled for police. Another man ran to the car and helped Frank pull the driver out from under the car.

Four other people joined to help pin the man on the ground until police arrived.

The man, identified as Justin Taylor, 32, of Vancouver was arrested on suspicion of eluding police, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of less than 40 grams of marijuana, and hit-and-run, Finn said.

The man's wife, Michaelene Taylor, 30, who was still in the truck at the crash scene, was later taken into custody on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant, Finn said.

The woman driving the other car was uninjured in the crash, he said.