BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Details regarding an incident that began about 1:30am, Sunday, April 24th and reported on yesterday, have been released today, Monday, April 25th, by the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO).
WCSO Spokesperson Deb Slater told Whatcom News via email that a deputy observed a pickup truck with no license plate traveling southbound on I-5 near the Meridian Street interchange. The vehicle was traveling at speeds ranging from 35 to 50mph while weaving back and forth in the lane. The deputy noted the vehicle had multiple equipment violations including driving with an unsecured load.
When the deputy attempted to pull over the vehicle, the driver exited the freeway and slowed down in the right lane, appearing to stop, then accelerated. The deputy, anticipating the pickup was making a left turn, positioned across the southbound on-ramp entrance. Then the pickup then appeared to intentionally ram the front passenger side of the patrol vehicle, pushing it down the I-5 on-ramp and continued back onto the freeway.
According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by prosecutors in Whatcom County Superior Court, the deputy performed a PIT maneuver that stopped the pickup. The deputy got out and verbally directed the driver to exit the pickup. Instead, the pickup accelerated northbound in the southbound lanes forcing at least 1 vehicle to take evasive action to avoid a head-on collision.
The pickup exited at Sunset Drive and proceeded south on James Street and reentered southbound I-5 at the Ohio Street on-ramp.
Deputies followed the driver, later identified as 44-year-old Crayton Williams from Bellingham. Attempts to stop were ignored by Mr. Williams, who at one point drove northbound on the southbound lanes of Interstate 5. Due to a Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) maneuver performed by Deputies, the rear driver’s side tire had gone flat and fell off of the rim. Mr. Williams continued to accelerate which created sparks in his wake. Deputies performed a second PIT maneuver which stopped the vehicle. Mr. Williams ignored commands to exit the vehicle and was observed reaching under and behind his seat. Deputies deployed a Less Lethal Pava/OC Pepper Powder Projectile into his vehicle. Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office email (April 25, 2022)
Williams then reportedly exited the vehicle and was taken into custody.
Through the vehicle’s open driver’s door, deputies observed a .380 auto pistol on the floor between the door and driver’s seat. Also visible were foils, glass pipes and torches, all commonly used to ingest narcotics.
In the bed of the truck, deputies observed a motorcycle that had been reported stolen to the Bellingham Police Department. Deputies also noted an altered vehicle trip permit displayed on the vehicle’s back window but blocked from view due to the large motorcycle in the back.
Deputies applied for and were granted a search warrant for the vehicle. The search yielded a blue M30 pill which is commonly known to be Fentanyl. The pill was on the driver’s seat on a foil partially smoked.
Williams was arrested and booked into Whatcom County Jail. The list of charges and previous charges he was already awaiting trial for are detailed in yesterday’s story.
This story was updated 4:30pm on April 26th with clarifying details found in the affidavit of probable cause filed by prosecutors in Whatcom County Superior Court.