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News / Clark County News

Man arrested after fleeing crash in Mount Vista area

Driver struck car, retaining wall

By Shari Phiel, Columbian staff writer
Published: July 4, 2023, 6:29pm

The driver of a minivan was arrested Monday after crashing into a car and retaining wall before fleeing the scene.

According to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, a report of an overturned vehicle at the intersection of Northeast 29th Avenue and Northeast 145th Street in the Mount Vista area was called into 911 shortly after 1:30 p.m. The caller said a gold-colored minivan had been involved in a crash and that the driver was heading northeast toward the Washington State University Vancouver campus on foot.

Further investigation by deputies found the minivan had been traveling southbound on Northeast 29th Avenue at a high rate of speed and collided with another vehicle when the driver attempted to pass, a statement from the agency said.

The minivan continued southbound and struck a residential retaining wall before flipping over and coming to a stop in the roadway. Concrete debris from the retaining wall was propelled into a parked vehicle, severely damaging the vehicle.

Witnesses were able to provide a description of the male suspect who fled toward the WSUV campus. Sheriff’s deputies and WSUV police contained the area and began searching for the man using a drone. The suspect was spotted hiding in the tree line at the southwest corner of the campus.

Sheriff’s office K-9 Riggs and his handler were called in to search the area and quickly found the man hiding in the brush.

Area resident Rocky D. Lovelady, 23, was taken into custody and assessed by medics on scene before being taken to an area hospital for medical care and collection of further evidence.

While at the hospital, Lovelady reportedly assaulted hospital staff while being treated.

Lovelady was booked into the Clark County Jail on suspicion of third-degree assault, felony hit and run with injury, driving under the influence, reckless driving, hit and run property damage and second-degree driving while license suspended.

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