Man suspected in May hit-and-run injury crash

Victim, 17, was in coma for several days, suffered broken leg

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

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A Vancouver man appeared Monday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of striking and injuring a pedestrian early May 15 in Vancouver’s Bagley Downs neighborhood, then leaving the scene.

Brian R. Ashard, 29, is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on charges of hit-and-run injury accident and third-degree driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Ashard was arrested around midnight Sunday on a bench warrant issued Sept. 30. Judge Scott Collier issued the warrant after Ashard failed to appear Sept. 24 on a court summons. Deputy Prosecutor Julie Carmena said the court may have sent the summons to an incorrect address.

Ashard told Judge Robert Lewis that he has a full-time job, two young children and a pregnant fiancée waiting for him and asked the judge to approve him for supervised release. Lewis agreed but warned that he would be jailed if he failed to appear for another court hearing.

He didn’t qualify for a court-appointed attorney because his income as a beer merchant is too high, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in court.

The 17-year-old victim suffered a broken left leg and injured her back as a result of the May 15 accident, which occurred at 5:46 a.m. in the 3100 block of Falk Road. Ashard allegedly was driving a green 2000 Mitsubishi Galant while his driver’s license was suspended. He stopped momentarily, but then left the scene without providing assistance, the affidavit alleges.

Onlookers ended up helping the victim by the roadside, the victim’s mother wrote in a victim’s statement.

Ashard drove to the Vancouver Police Department West Precinct on Stapleton Road and called 911 to report the accident, the affidavit says. He then returned to the scene.

The victim’s mother wrote that Ashard’s “choice will forever affect” her family.

“You chose to drive that day with a suspended license, putting my daughter in harm’s way,” the mother wrote.

She said the victim fell into a coma on May 16 but began to be responsive again on May 20.

“Her dad died in 2004,” she wrote. “That leaves me a single mom who struggles to make ends meet. Now I am faced with monumental (medical) bills and hard choices to make, all of this because you chose to drive that day.”