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(Marissa Harshman/The Columbian)
A brazen act of vandalism and a hit-and-run crash that police said was intentional rattled a suburban street in east of Orchards late Friday morning. Police fruitlessly searched for the driver while neighbors wondered what happened.
Even for Brenda Kent, who witnessed the crash, it’s still confusing.
Kent was weeding in her front yard shortly before noon when she heard a popping noise, swearing and name-calling. She looked up and saw people across the street smashing out the windows of two vehicles parked in the driveway of a home a few doors down at 7012 N.E. 147th Ave. in the Sifton area. The people breaking windows then got into a green sedan and drove northbound past her.
Someone in the sedan yelled, “They’re coming!” Seconds later, a Chevrolet Suburban eastbound on Northeast 73rd Street slammed into the front driver’s side of the sedan, pinning it against a curb. Everyone in the Suburban got out and ran away. They were long gone before sheriff’s deputies rolled up to the intersection.
Three people were significantly injured in the crash and transported to area hospitals.
Police say the driver of the Suburban struck the sedan on purpose and that the collision was the aftermath of an earlier disturbance. Those involved knew each other and some were related, said Sgt. Fred Neiman, spokesman for the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.
“This is the ending spot of the disturbance,” Neiman said at the crash scene. “I don’t think it was the beginning spot.”
The driver remained at large Friday night and probably was injured from the collision. Police are still sorting out details, including where the disturbance began and who all was involved in the alleged assault case.
Another nearby resident said she and her granddaughter were in their front yard when they heard “a real loud bang.”
They ran into the street to see what happened and saw a woman crawling out of the passenger seat of the green sedan. The woman was screaming for help, said the neighbor, who didn’t want to be identified.
A man also crawled out of the sedan window. He had a head wound and was bleeding profusely from his shoulder, the neighbor said.
The woman involved in the crash yelled, “We need something to stop the bleeding!” So the neighbor’s husband took off his shirt and gave it to the woman.
About that time, the neighbors heard someone mention a gun, so they left the scene.
Despite the claim, Neiman said the report of firearm involvement was inaccurate and that no one had been reported with a gunshot wound.
“This is a pretty quiet neighborhood. It’s super unsettling,” said Sarah Akey, who lives in a cul-de-sac near the intersection. “It makes no sense. I can’t even wrap my head around it.”
A man and woman at the scene were questioned by police. The man was hosed down by police after being pepper sprayed. He was later detained by police, but it’s unclear how he and the woman were involved in the incident.
While officers continued their investigation at the scene, police stopped another vehicle elsewhere in the neighborhood. Police believe the vehicle was connected to the incident and may have been carrying the suspect driver, but he was not located, Neiman said.
At about 1 p.m., police turned their attention to Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center where a man suspected of being involved in the incident was believed to have been dropped off for treatment.
Security officers and deputies looked for the man, described as wearing dark shorts and a sleeveless gray T-shirt. A man with a similar description was seen at the scene of the Orchards incident.
Brian Willoughby, spokesman for the medical center, said that police were given incorrect information and left the area.
PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center spokesman Ken Cole said there was no police activity at that campus.
The sheriff’s office on Friday continued to investigate where the driver was and what led to the crash.
Marissa Harshman: 360-735-4546; email@example.com.
Patty Hastings: 360-735-4513; http://www.twitter.com/col_cops; firstname.lastname@example.org.