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News / Clark County News

Vancouver man suspected in Hazel Dell crashes

Vehicle goes into apartment building; driver extricated

By Jerzy Shedlock, Columbian Breaking News Reporter, and
Jessica Prokop, Columbian Local News Editor
Published: March 3, 2021, 6:49pm

A Vancouver man — previously the victim of a hit-and-run crash that cost him the lower half of his left leg — is suspected in a series of crashes Monday night in Hazel Dell, in which he allegedly tried to flee.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office says it has referred charges of hit-and-run of an attended vehicle and vehicular assault against Paul Adams, 38. The charges were forwarded to the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review, sheriff’s Sgt. Brent Waddell said Wednesday.

Deputies first responded at 6:27 p.m. Monday to Northeast Highway 99 and 78th Street for a traffic crash involving injuries, according to emergency dispatch logs. They then responded to a second crash at 78th Street and Northeast 25th Avenue, also reportedly involving injuries, the logs show.

Clark County Fire District 6 crews also responded to both locations.

The suspect vehicle crashed into an apartment at the second location. Battalion Chief Bryan Baum said firefighters initially staged in the area; they were told the driver of the vehicle was possibly armed with a weapon.

When firefighters were given the OK to check out the scene, crews inspected the apartment building. The vehicle was partially inside an apartment and had caused significant damage, but the building was structurally sound, Baum said.

Firefighters had to extricate the driver from the vehicle. His injuries were not reported by officials. Information about other people who may have been injured during the incident was also not released.

Adams’ mother, Nancy Peterson, told The Columbian that her son underwent surgery at Oregon Health and Sciences University Hospital in Portland. A spokesperson with OSHU said Tuesday that Adams was at the hospital in good condition.

It’s unclear what precipitated the crashes.

Waddell referred additional questions to the U.S. Marshals Service. The federal law enforcement agency is investigating Adams, he said.

The marshals service has not responded to requests for comment.

Peterson said she learned her son had a Department of Corrections warrant and was under suspicion for other crimes. She said officials have shared little information about the crashes.

Adams has struggled with methamphetamine addiction for years, Peterson said, describing his relationship with family, particularly after he was injured, as stormy.

That hit-and-run occurred in the early morning hours of Feb. 20, 2017. Adams was walking along the shoulder in the 4100 block of Northeast 54th Avenue in Minnehaha when he was struck. A passerby found him lying next to the road. His left leg was so badly injured it later had to be amputated.

Columbian Breaking News Reporter