Crime

Trooper: Stolen car runs out of gas in middle of I-5

MOUNT VERNON - A man in a stolen Ford Mustang ran out of gas on Interstate 5 and left the car in the freeway lane, where a Peterbilt semi driven by a Whatcom County man plowed into it Thursday morning, Feb. 6, according to the Washington State Patrol.

David Myung Wook Coan, 34, of Camano Island, called a friend for help at about 9:50 a.m. from an embankment along the four lanes of southbound I-5, a mile north of the exit to Starbird Road in Skagit County, said Trooper Mark Francis. The Mustang was out of gas, stuck in the second-to-the-right lane of the freeway.

Just then, he saw a 2007 Peterbilt semi with dual trailers rumble down the freeway and into the back of the Ford. It totaled the car but left the semi driver unharmed: Rocky L. Heutink, 59, owner of a hay hauling business near Nooksack. His truck had to be towed.

A man from Lopez Island, General G. Hurst, 69, swerved to avoid the wreck. His Toyota Highlander crashed into a ditch on the right side of the road. Hurst and the passenger in his car weren't hurt.

The wreckage and a large fuel spill shut down two lanes of southbound I-5 for more than two hours.

Coan didn't own the Mustang, according to state patrol. The registered owner told troopers he'd borrowed the car - a while ago - and never returned it, Francis said.

So he faces charges of second-degree theft and taking a motor vehicle without permission.

Troopers don't believe drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash. All three people in the vehicles had seat belts on.

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