FERNDALE, Wash. — Daniel Holcomb, age 51, of Ferndale was struck and killed by a vehicle December 20, 2018 about 3am while walking on Grandview Road east of I-5 and the vehicle that struck Holcomb then left the scene according to the Washington State Patrol. An anonymous tip led investigators to interview Joshua Jay Bryant, age 46, of Ferndale. It was reported at the time he was cooperative with investigators and a search warrant was requested and received to search a vehicle of Bryant’s. Following the search of the vehicle, on January 7, 2019 Bryant was arrested and charged with suspicion of hit-and-run resulting in death.
This week, Bryant pled guilty to the charge, a Class B felony, in return for a lenient sentence agreed to by the State’s prosecution and the defense after communicating with the victim’s family.
Prior to sentencing, a memorandum filed with the court by the defense explained how, at the time of the collision, it was windy with gusts to 70mph and heavy rain was being blown horizontally. Bryant, the memorandum stated, believed he had struck a deer and when looking back saw something brown. He continued to a gas station to assess the damage to his vehicle and then continued on to a park and ride where he left this vehicle while carpooling to work. There were no indications of drugs or alcohol or distracted driving beyond the challenges reportedly created by weather the memorandum noted and he made no effort to cover up the damage to or hide his vehicle.
The judge sentenced Bryant to serve 9 months in custody and to pay fees of $800. State guidelines would dictate a sentence of up to 10 years in custody and/or a fine of up to $20,000.
Bryant had no prior appearances as a defendant in Whatcom County Superior Court. He is to report to the jail in mid-October to begin serving the sentence.