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July crash on Eldridge Avenue occurred after driver appeared to fall asleep, victim airlifted to Harborview Medical Center

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — First responders were dispatched to the 2100 block of Eldridge Avenue in Bellingham about 10:15am on July 9th due to a report of a car versus pedestrian crash. According to a court document, they arrived to find a victim with severe injuries.

Witnesses told Bellingham Police a red Mitsubishi had ran into the victim who was standing behind a utility trailer that was “parked halfway on the curb” according to a probable cause affidavit by Bellingham Police and submitted by prosecutors in Whatcom County Superior Court.

A passenger in the Mitsubishi told police they had noticed the driver falling asleep and asked him multiple times that morning to stop and get an energy drink and to let the passenger out. The driver responded he was fine according to the passenger. The driver fell asleep and jerked the wheel to the right at the time of the crash the passenger told police.

A witness told police the driver told them he had “blacked out” after having worked late the night before.

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Both the driver and the victim were transported by ambulance to PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center. The victim was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in critical condition with severe leg injuries and multiple other injuries.

The driver, identified as Mark David Johnson, age 31, told police he had use methamphetamine the night before and a Washington State Patrol Drug Recognition Expert “determined there was evidence of Johnson being on the downside effect of a central nervous system stimulant.”

A warrant was issued for Johnson’s arrest on July 23rd after the prosecutor’s office formally charged him of vehicular assault in a reckless manner with substantial bodily harm. Johnson was arrested on August 3rd by Bellingham Police and booked into Whatcom County Jail.

As of August 4th, he remained in custody pending being able to post a $50,000 bond.

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Since 2014, Johnson has been found guilty of multiple controlled substance felonies and theft in Whatcom and Skagit County Superior Courts.

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