Crime

Bellingham driver gets 4 years for chase, crash that injured toddlers, woman

Video: Pickup fleeing police hits car with grandmother, two kids

A police chase ended on South Samish Way when the pickup fleeing Washington State Patrol struck a car carrying a grandmother and two children, authorities said Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 18, 2015.
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A police chase ended on South Samish Way when the pickup fleeing Washington State Patrol struck a car carrying a grandmother and two children, authorities said Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 18, 2015.

A Bellingham woman must serve four years in prison for fleeing officers in a high-speed pursuit that ended with a serious crash that injured a woman and two toddlers.

Washington State Patrol troopers tried to talk with Justy Jean Davidson, 25, about a truck linked to a recent theft investigation about 2:30 p.m. Nov. 18, 2015, outside the Skagit Casino.

She fled the parking lot, however, in a gunmetal gray Toyota pickup that sped north on Interstate 5, where speeds topped 90 mph.

Charging papers say Davidson threw needles and what appeared to be drugs out the window while she recklessly passed other cars. She exited the freeway at North Lake Samish Road and did not brake for a stop sign by the on-ramp to re-enter I-5.

A nearly head-on collision crumpled the front of a blue Dodge Neon, driven by Charity Aber-Alex, 43, of Bellingham.

A boy in the Dodge, age 3, suffered a pelvic fracture and a presumed concussion. Another boy, 2, had facial injuries and fractures to three teeth. Aber-Alex suffered a broken leg. All three needed to be hospitalized.

Troopers arrested Davidson as she crawled from the damaged Toyota. She refused to give her name.

She had one clonazepam pill in her pocket and her blood tested positive for morphine (0.011 mg/L), amphetamine (0.20 mg/L), and methamphetamine (1.3 mg/L), according to the charges. State law does not have a fixed number defining impairment by those drugs, like the 0.08 percent limit for blood-alcohol content.

Police asked Davidson why she ran.

“I was raised not to like police, so I ran,” she replied, according to the charges.

Davidson had three prior felonies from 2011 on her record, for possessing heroin, possessing meth and jumping bail.

At the time of the crash she was out on $1,500 bail in an identity theft case, in which she was accused of handing over a driver’s license that belonged to another woman, Ashley, during a traffic stop.

Troopers told “Ashley” she was being arrested for warrants, and Davidson revealed her real name, according to charging papers. Davidson had warrants, too, for driving with a suspended license, and it was still suspended. Charges in that case were dropped in a plea deal.

Davidson admitted guilt in September to three counts of vehicular assault, for driving in a reckless manner. In her plea paperwork she admits she was driving under the influence of drugs.

Davidson read an apology letter at her sentencing Tuesday though the victims did not attend the hearing. The deputy prosecutor, Evan Jones, said he got a copy of the letter to forward to them.

Superior Court Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis sentenced Davidson to 48 months in prison, as suggested by a plea deal.

Caleb Hutton: 360-715-2276, @bhamcaleb

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