BELLINGHAM, Wash. — About 11:15pm on Thursday, March 3rd, a Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) deputy radioed that they were eastbound on Airport Drive heading toward Bennett Road following a blue Ford Explorer pickup truck that had been reported stolen to the Bellingham Police Department (BPD) earlier in the day.
The deputy radioed they had activated their vehicle’s emergency lights by Artic Avenue while eastbound on W Bakerview Road in an attempt to pull the pickup over.
According to BPD Spokesperson Lt. Claudia Murphy, instead of pulling over, the pickup fled eastbound on W Bakerview Road at a high rate of speed. The deputy did not pursue the fleeing vehicle. “This is in compliance with the current law,” Murphy said.
At the time, a BPD patrol officer was northbound on Meridian Street approaching the intersection with W Bakerview Road at normal traffic speed. The pickup ran a red light at the intersection and struck the BPD officer’s vehicle in the rear quarter panel, shearing off the pickup’s front driver side quarter panel and wheel in the process. The pickup driver then fled the crash scene on foot.
Personnel from BPD, WCSO and Washington State Patrol (WSP) established a perimeter around the area and a K-9 track was started.
Although BPD K-9 Destro did locate a mask, flashlight and handkerchief during the track, the suspect was not located.
BPD crime scene investigators processed the recovered stolen car and WCSO deputies are handling the vehicular assault and hit and run investigation and WSP is handling the crash report since a BPD officer is the victim.
“We are grateful the BPD officer sustained no major injuries in this crash. It should be noted there were two pedestrians in the crosswalk just seconds before the driver of the stolen truck sped through the intersection after crashing into the BPD Tahoe.”
Anyone with information regarding who stole the truck or the suspect driver’s identity are asked to contact BPD at 360-778-8611 or via online tips.
143 cars have been stolen in Bellingham so far this year according to BPD.