BELLINGHAM - A Bellingham-area man caused a three-car crash on Guide Meridian and tried to hitch a ride in a parked minivan to get away - while on the run from the law for another hit and run, according to the Washington State Patrol.
Troopers believe Jackson Bryce Strange, 33, crossed the center lane around 9 p.m. May 3, in the 3400 block of Haxton Way. His '05 Chrysler 300 plowed into an oncoming Mitsubishi Galant occupied by a man, a woman and a 5-year-old girl. A helicopter airlifted the girl to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle; the two adults were rushed to St. Joseph hospital.
Strange, troopers said, ran from the scene and kept a low profile until the afternoon of Thursday, May 15. He'd been driving an '02 Honda Accord west on Kelly Road around 12:25 p.m. when he didn't slow down for a stop sign at Guide Meridian. Kelly Road dead-ends there, so his Honda crashed into bushes. The driver of a northbound Nissan Sentra slammed on the brakes to avoid getting T-boned by Strange's car, causing a '98 Chevy Venture to rear-end the Sentra. No one in those cars needed emergency care.
As police were en route, Strange jumped out of the car, ran across the road and tried to convince the driver of a minivan parked at a nearby business to give him a ride, said Trooper Mark Francis. But that hasty plan didn't work out.
Troopers arrested Strange, who said his name was David Foster, an alias listed on old court records, while making the mistake of being inconsistent about his date of birth, Francis said. Strange was booked into jail on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, criminal impersonation, felony drug charges and failing to appear for alleged driving offenses in Ferndale.
State troopers got a warrant to draw his blood to confirm his admission that he'd taken drugs earlier, according to the state patrol. A body cavity search, Francis added, turned up several grams of heroin. Strange has four felony drug convictions on his record, and a fifth felony for jumping bail in 2004.
This time Superior Court Commissioner M. David Thorn set bail in one case at $25,000; in the other, it had been set at $80,000.
The county prosecutor's office planned to have formal charges written for both cases by Wednesday, May 21.