A woman drove into a ditch in Graham after leaving a casino late Saturday, and she and her passenger were trapped in the vehicle for at least nine hours before they were found, according to the State Patrol.
The woman and her passenger were taken to Tacoma General Hospital. The passenger was in critical condition with internal injuries, two broken legs and a broken pelvis. The driver was evaluated and booked into Pierce County Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular assault.
Troopers said the woman was heading north on state Route 7 when she veered off the road and into a ditch near 288th Street East.
Apparently the driver and passenger both lost consciousness until 6:45 a.m.
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“She had no idea where she was, and her phone could only make outgoing calls,” trooper Brooke Bova said.
Dispatchers were unable to call the woman back to pinpoint her location, so the State Patrol launched a search. They also pinged her cellphone, which led troopers to the 3100 block of Meridian East, where there was no sign of a wreck.
The search was called off at 8 a.m., but shortly afterward, a passerby heard a woman calling for help and spotted the car in a ditch on Route 7.
Firefighters extricated the woman and her passenger shortly after 9 a.m. The passenger was not wearing a seat belt when the vehicle crashed.
Troopers said it’s unknown whether the woman was under the influence when she crashed, but that any signs of being drunk would have dissipated by the time help arrived.
The woman told troopers they were heading home from the casino when she lost control of the car.
“The driver said that another car swerved into her lane because there was a deer in the road,” Bova said. “There was no sign of a deer, no roadway evidence and no braking on her part.”
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653