Pierce County prosecutors have charged a suspected drunken driver who hit a man changing a tire on the side of state Route 512 last week.
Heriberto Nambo, 24, of Tacoma, pleaded not guilty Monday to vehicular assault and third-degree driving on a suspended license. Bail was set at $35,000.
The accident occurred Friday evening in the eastbound lanes of state Route 512 just east of the South Hill Mall exit.
Witnesses called 911 to report an erratic driver who slammed into a man changing a tire on the side of the road.
When Washington State Patrol troopers arrived, they found the injured man lying in front of his truck and the vehicle up on a jack. Nambo was standing among a crowd trying to render aid to the man. He told troopers he’d lost control of his vehicle because of a bad tire.
A trooper noticed Nambo smelled of alcohol and that his steps were “extremely shaky and uncoordinated,” according to charging papers.
He told the trooper he never drinks alcohol and had nothing to drink that night.
The injured 39-year-old Tacoma man remained in serious condition at a hospital.stacia.glenn@ thenewstribune.com