Not guilty pleas were entered Monday on behalf of a 33-year-old South Hill man suspected of crashing his SUV into a passenger car and then fleeing the scene on foot, sparking a manhunt that ended in his arrest Sunday.
Pierce County prosecutors charged Joshua Raymond Steiger with two counts of vehicular assault and one count of leaving the scene of an injury accident. Superior Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered Steiger jailed in lieu of $175,000 bail during his arraignment.
Puyallup police contend Steiger was at the wheel of a 2009 Chevrolet Avalanche that hit a Saturn four-door in the 400 block of 2nd Street Northeast about 9:15 p.m. Saturday.
The Saturn's driver, a 22-year-old Lake Tapps woman, suffered a shattered pelvis, broken ribs and a punctured lung, court records show. Her passenger, also a woman, had possible internal injuries and lacerations to her head and face.
The Avalanche's driver, later identified as Steiger, ran away from the scene toward the Fred Meyer Store on River Road. Police used dogs and a boat on the Puyallup River to search for him. He later was tracked to his house and arrested there Sunday morning.
Steiger's girlfriend told police he had been drinking alcohol at a party and a bar prior to the wreck.
According to police, the Saturn was northbound in the right lane on 2nd Street Northeast when it tried to make a left turn into a fast-food restaurant.
The Avalanche was northbound in the left-hand lane on 2nd Street, which is a two-lane, one-way street in that stretch of town, and hit the Saturn on the driver's side, court records show.
Witnesses said the Avalanche was traveling at least 50 mph in a 30 mph zone at the time of the collision. First responders had to cut the Saturn's driver out of her car, court records show.