Police Say Friends Told Hoquiam Teen Not to Drive Just Before DUI Wreck

A Hoquiam teen was arrested on DUI charges after police say he ran a stop sign on the East side of the Simpson Avenue Bridge and forced another car into a building early Saturday morning.

Police Chief Jeff Myers said his officers were called to the report of a two-vehicle, injury collision at 22nd Street and Simpson Avenue just after 12:30 am Saturday morning. Arriving officers found a 2014 Toyota Corolla sedan with extensive damage in front of the building that is to the southeast side of the intersection. The other vehicle, a 2003 Audi sedan was located in a small parking area near the alley behind the same building.

Investigators learned that the 19-year old Hoquiam driver of the Audi had just left a residence on Cherry Street where friends had apparently attempted to stop him from driving while intoxicated.

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Myers said the teen was witnessed driving away from the home at a high rate of speed while his vehicle swerved. It appears he failed to stop at the stop sign on 22nd Street and collided with the Toyota in the middle of the intersection on Simpson Avenue.

The force of the collision sent the Toyota careening into the corner of the building before it came to rest on the front porch area. The Audi rotated after the impact and traveled backward, just missing the building, before jumping a curb and coming to rest in the back parking area against a fence and concrete edge.

Myers said that the driver and two passengers of the Toyota had to be extricated from the vehicle by the Hoquiam Fire Department, all three were transported to Community Hospital for injuries suffered in the impact.

The driver of the Audi told officers at the scene that he had just left a friend’s house and when he hit the other car he panicked and ran off. He said he then decided it was best to return to the scene.

Officers conducted field sobriety tests and determined the 19-year old driver of the Audi was intoxicated. He was arrested and transported to the Hoquiam Police Department for additional tests before being booked into the City Jail pending further investigation.

Myers said charges that the teen will face could change based on the condition of one of the passengers who was undergoing surgery at Community Hospital Saturday morning. “If the injuries are serious, the driver of the Audi could be charged with the felony crime of vehicular assault. He is currently being held at the City Jail, but could be transferred to the Grays Harbor County Jail if the felony charge is sustained.”

The Hoquiam Police Department’s Crime Scene Mapping Team measured the scene Saturday morning. Traffic on Simpson Ave was reduced to one lane Saturday morning for the Crime Scene Mapping Team. The building at the corner of the intersection appeared to have suffered extensive structural damage.

The investigation is ongoing at this time.