Suspected drunk driver arrested after series of hit-and-run crashes

SEATTLE - Officers arrested a suspected drunk driver after a series of at least three hit-and-run crashes, including one that injured a woman, police said.

The incident unfolded Saturday morning at about 6:30 a.m. as officers responded to the report of a hit-and-run rollover crash at 12th Avenue South and Boren Avenue, said Detective Jeff Kappel of the Seattle police.

Responding officers found a heavily damaged Ford Explorer that apparently had been broadsided, overturned, and then came to rest on its wheels. An injured 47-year-old woman inside the vehicle was taken to Harborview Medical Center. Her injuries were non-life-threatening.

At about the same time, police radio broadcast another report of a hit-and-run crash at Rainier Avenue South and South Jackson Street.

Officers found that a 44-year-old man driving a silver 2006 Chrysler 300 with significant front-end damage had slammed into a vehicle in the intersection, Kappel said.

Prior to these two crashes, the same man had also collided with another vehicle at 12th Avenue and East Cherry Street. The suspect was attempting to flee the scene, but his Chrysler 300 was inoperable due to damage sustained in the multiple hit-and-run crashes.

Officers stopped the suspect on South Jackson Street just east of Rainier Avenue South. Before stepping out of the car, the suspect grabbed a handful of crack cocaine and stuffed it in his mouth, Kappel said. He was taken into custody shortly afterward.

The 44-year-old suspect were taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment. He was tested for alcohol and drugs, and police confiscated his crack cocaine and booked it into evidence. The man remains under police guard at Harborview and will be booked into the King County Jail when he is released.

This remains an active and on-going investigation, Kappel said.