FERNDALE, Wash. — First responders were dispatched to the northbound lanes of I-5 near the W Smith Road overpass about 10:20pm on Friday, January 20th, due to a report of a rollover crash.
According to a press memo from Washington State Patrol, a grey 2014 Toyota Sienna passenger van driven by Robert Theodore Dodge, age 54 and of Ferndale, had been northbound on I-5 fleeing an attempted traffic stop by a Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office deputy.
According to unconfirmed law enforcement radio transmissions at the time, the deputy had discontinued attempting the traffic stop prior to the crash as the Toyota fled at a high rate with its lights turned off.
WSP said the Toyota struck the rear of a northbound black 2019 Nissan Rogue SUV occupied by a man, woman and a 11-month-old child. The Nissan rolled and came to a stop off the roadway on its top. The Toyota came to a stop blocking both lanes.
According to unconfirmed emergency services radio transmissions from the scene, the occupants of the Nissan had to be extricated from the vehicle by firefighters.
The woman and child in the Nissan were transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The woman was transported by air. The man and Dodge were transported to PeaceHealth St Joseph’s Medical Center.
It was determined Dodge, the woman and the child were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.
The investigation determined the drugs and/or alcohol were involved. Charges are pending according to the WSP.
Traffic was diverted off I-5 at Slater Road for several hours following the crash while an investigation was conducted.