Anonymous tip leads to arrest of suspected driver in last month’s fatal hit-and-run

An anonymous tip led to the arrest of a Whatcom County man who is suspected of being the driver of a pickup truck involved in a fatal hit-and-run with a pedestrian last month north of Ferndale.

The Washington State Patrol booked Joshua Jay Bryant, 43, into Whatcom County Jail Monday night on suspicion of hit and run accident/death, according to jail records.

“There wasn’t a whole lot to this investigation,” Trooper Heather Axtman told The Bellingham Herald in an interview Tuesday. “An anonymous tip came forward and provided an address where a truck that was possibly involved was located.”

Axtman said detectives served a search warrant on the address Friday and that Bryant was cooperative during the investigation and has been since then. Detectives also observed a full-sized pickup truck that showed damage assumed to have been caused in the incident, Axtman said.

Daniel W. Holcomb, 51, died after he was struck at approximately 3:27 a.m. Dec. 20 while walking westbound on Grandview Road near Atwood Road, just east of the exit ramp from northbound Interstate 5, according to the Washington State Patrol release on the incident.

The vehicle, which was unidentified until last week, struck Holcomb from behind as it traveled westbound on Grandview, the release said. The State Patrol later said it believe the vehicle was a truck or SUV.

“Somebody out there knows something, for sure,” Axtman told The Bellingham Herald in an interview that day, “and we strongly urge them to give us a call.”

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.