BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A Bellingham woman was arrested and booked into Whatcom County Jail on September 24th suspected of being involved in a crash on I-5 and the theft of a vehicle.
According to an affidavit by a Washington State Trooper (WSP) filed in Whatcom County Superior Court by prosecutors, a red Saab passenger car was reported traveling southbound in the northbound lane of Samish Way about 11:30pm on September 23rd. As the trooper responded to the area, WSP dispatch said the red Saab had just been involved in a crash after entering northbound I-5 at the N Lake Samish interchange.
Approximate location of the crash
The trooper said the crash caused rear-end damage to a gold Mercedes and heavy front-end damage to the Saab. “The Saab then came to rest after crossing all lanes. The Mercedes came to rest in the median of I-5,” according the affidavit.
A driver in a SUV stopped to offer assistance. The driver of the Saab was reported to have left her vehicle, ran past the driver offering assistance, got into the SUV and drove off northbound on I-5. The SUV had been parked with the engine running.
The trooper showed the SUV driver a photo of the registered owner of the Saab and they identified her as the person who had crashed the Saab and stole the SUV.
The next day, the trooper saw the SUV being driven on Lummi Shore Road. A male and female in the vehicle were placed in custody and the female admitted to crashing the Saab and taking the SUV.
The female, identified as Mikaela Chantel Ponca-Montoya was booked into the jail charged with theft of a motor vehicle, hit and run and reckless driving. As of September 28th, Ponca-Montoya remained in custody pending being able to post a $5,000 bond or $500 cash.