Bellingham driver hits pedestrian and flees, state patrol says

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A Tacoma woman was injured when she was struck by a car while crossing a freeway entrance as she walked along Meridian Street early Friday, Oct. 21.

Chelsey B. Robinson, 26, suffered face and leg injuries when she was struck at the southbound Interstate 5 onramp at Meridian Street. The driver sped away, but police quickly arrested a Bellingham man in connection with the incident.

Nathan S. Holk, 29, was booked into Whatcom County Jail on charges of vehicular assault and felony hit-and-run. According to the state patrol’s incident report, Holk was southbound on Meridian Street at 12:08 a.m., when he turned right onto the southbound I-5 onramp and hit Robinson.

“(Holk) stayed at the scene a little bit, and it looks like he talked to her, but then he took off,” Sgt. Mark Francis of the Washington State Patrol said. “Evidently either he pulls over on his own or the car breaks down” on southbound I-5 and he was detained by Bellingham police officers and Whatcom County sheriff’s deputies.

Francis said Holk’s car, a black 2009 Volkswagen GTI, had damage consistent with a recent crash. The GTI was impounded by the state patrol.

Robinson was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph hospital, where she was treated and released, a nursing supervisor said. Francis said Robinson might have a broken leg, and she suffered facial cuts and scrapes.

Francis said police showed Robinson a photo montage including Holk’s image as she was being treated, and Robinson identified Holk as the man who hit her and fled.

Holk remained in custody Friday morning, according to jail records. Although Holk wasn’t booked on the charge, drunken driving is listed as the cause of the crash, according to the state trooper’s report.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty