Monday, June 27, 2022
June 27, 2022

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Man accused in hit-and-run appears in court

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

A Vancouver man accused of causing a serious-injury crash in Vancouver and fleeing the scene Wednesday made a first appearance in Clark County Superior Court.

Epen Nazareth, 34, appeared Friday to face an allegation of hit-and-run injury in connection with the crash. However, Nazareth required a Chuukese interpreter so he will be back in court on Monday. The language is spoken in the Federated States of Micronesia.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the two-vehicle collision was reported shortly before 1 p.m. on westbound state Highway 500 near Interstate 205. Manuel Lomeli was driving a Toyota pickup west near the Northeast 112th Avenue onramp when a Chevrolet Trailblazer struck him while changing lanes.

Lomeli lost control of the Toyota, and it rotated counter-clockwise and struck the median, causing it to roll and come to rest on the driver’s side, the affidavit said. Lomeli sustained a large cut to his scalp that required staples to close, court records said.

The driver of the Chevrolet, later identified as Nazareth, failed to stop and fled the area, but not before a witness took down the vehicle’s license plate number, according to court documents.

State Patrol troopers tracked down the vehicle to its registered address and later to Nazareth’s work in Portland, court records show. The Chevrolet had damage and paint transfer, the affidavit said.

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