On 11/19/19 at about 1:24 a.m. Hoquiam Police officer Don Grossi was stopped in the 400 block of Karr Avenue speaking to a citizen. A 2016 Subaru Crosstrek was traveling in the opposite direction. The Subaru struck a parked vehicle and then continued eastbound, striking the rear quarter panel of the fully marked Hoquiam Police vehicle. The driver did not stop and continued driving from the scene, turning northbound onto Cleveland Street.
Officer Grossi turned around and attempted to overtake the Subaru. Officer Grossi was approximately one block behind the Subaru when he watched it strike the concrete abutment which separates the north and southbound lanes of the 400 block of Cleveland Street. The collision caused extensive damage to the Subaru, tearing the right front wheel assembly from the vehicle and deploying all of the airbags.
Officer Grossi checked on the occupants of the Subaru. The driver, a 26 year-old Vancouver, Washington man and the passenger, a 26 year-old Aberdeen woman. Both occupants advised they were not injured, however due to the severity of the impact and airbag deployment, Hoquiam Fire Department personnel responded and examined both. It was determined neither was injured and did not need medical attention.
The driver was exhibiting the effects of having consumed alcoholic beverages and admitted to doing so. Field testing indicated the driver was impaired due to his consumption of intoxicating beverages. He was arrested for Hit and Run-Unattended Vehicle, Hit and Run- Attended Vehicle, and for Driving Under the Influence. He was transported to the Hoquiam Police Department where further tests were conducted. It was determined the driver’s breath alcohol content was over three times in excess of the .08 alcohol limit set by the State of Washington (and all other states). The driver was booked into the Hoquiam City Jail.
As the holiday season approaches, the frequency of DUI incidents increase. With the availability of taxis, transit, and ride sharing services, as well as your sober friends and family, there is no excuse for driving while intoxicated. Had the citizen Officer Grossi was talking to been standing on the driver’s side of his patrol car instead of the passenger side, this incident would have likely caused serious injuries or been fatal.