Driver who crashed into slough found alive, then arrested

By Mark Bowder, Columbian Assistant Metro Editor



Divers searching for the body of a man whose pickup crashed in a slough in Woodland on Friday were surprised this morning when the man’s brother told them he was alive and well in a house nearby.

Driver German Sabian-Pacheco, 29, of Astoria, Ore., later told Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office deputies that he wasn’t hurt when he crashed the pickup into the slough Friday afternoon, according to a press release.

He said that he was alone at the time, and that he’d swum a short distance before walking to his sister’s house a couple of miles away.

The crash prompted a search Friday by the Cowlitz County Dive Team, which pulled the pickup from the water but couldn’t find a trace of the driver. Firefighters with Clark County Fire & Rescue were on the agency’s rescue boat, searching for bodies or survivors, though the chances of prolonged survival in the water were slim.

Sabian-Pacheco’s escape from the crash didn’t have an entirely happy ending for him, however.

Deputies who found him Saturday placed him under arrest on outstanding misdemeanor warrants for DUI and driving with a suspended license in the second degree. He’s also facing new charges of driving without an interlock, driving while suspended in the first degree, and hit and run, the press release said.

He was booked into the Cowlitz County Jail.