Woman sentenced in Highway 502 crash

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Courts Reporter



A Battle Ground woman who caused a two-vehicle crash in February on state Highway 502, injuring her passenger and maiming another driver, was sentenced Monday to seven months in jail.

Rebecca L. Lingle, 19, pleaded guilty in Clark County Superior Court to vehicular assault while driving in a reckless manner in connection with the Feb. 21 crash in Dollars Corner. She received a 210-day sentence but was given credit for 174 days in custody.

Lingle sustained minor injuries, but her passenger, Ryan L. Poland, then 35, of Battle Ground, suffered possible broken ribs and a dislocated hip. Another driver, Charlene K. Ross, then 50, of Battle Ground suffered the most severe injuries, including a laceration and trauma to her arm, court records state.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kasey Vu said in a phone interview that Ross will never regain use of her left arm.

The crash occurred shortly before 12:40 p.m. at the intersection of Northeast 72nd Avenue and Highway 502, or Northeast 219th Street. Responding Washington State Patrol troopers found Ross’ Ford pickup on its side and facing north in the southbound lanes of 72nd. A Dodge Neon, driven by Lingle, sustained substantial damage to its front, and Lingle was pinned in the driver’s seat, according to a probable cause affidavit.

A 7-month-old boy riding in Ross’ pickup was unharmed but did need to be extricated from the vehicle, as did Ross.

Witnesses to the crash said the pickup was traveling west on the highway and going through a green light, when Lingle’s car, traveling north, ran the red light at 72nd and struck the pickup on the driver’s side. The pickup rolled and spun clockwise, coming to rest in the northbound lanes of 72nd. The Dodge came to rest in the westbound lanes of the highway, the affidavit states.

Lingle told troopers she ran the red light while arguing with her boyfriend, Poland. She also told paramedics on the way to the hospital that she took three different antidepressants, court records said.

A trooper trained in identifying signs of drug and alcohol use in drivers determined Lingle was impaired. Investigators obtained a search warrant for her blood for toxicology testing, according to court documents.

Vu said that the crime lab was unable to determine the level of the substance — one of Lingle’s prescriptions — in her blood, however.

In addition to her sentence, Lingle will serve 12 months of community custody, and her license was revoked.