The wrong-way driver accused of triggering a late-December crash on Interstate 5 in Lakewood turned out to be wanted on a warrant in a Tacoma rape case, according to the Washington State Patrol.
Oscar Sanabria, 38, of Tacoma was booked into the Pierce County Jail on Monday on the warrant on first-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping charges.
Sanabria was arraigned Tuesday afternoon on those charges in Pierce County Superior Court, where pro tem Judge Brian Tollefson set his bail at $1 million.
He also was booked on suspicion of vehicular assault in the Dec. 26 crash on southbound I-5 near state Route 512, though those charges are still pending, according to a Pierce County prosecutor’s spokesman.
Sanabria was not believed to be fleeing police because of his warrant, but troopers saw it after the wreck when checking his history, State Patrol spokesman Todd Bartolac said Monday.
After the crash, Sanabria was held under 24-hour guard at Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord until he was healthy enough to be taken to jail, Bartolac said.
Sanabria was charged in Superior Court on April 6 with the rape and kidnapping counts.
In that incident, a woman was waiting for a bus March 29 but didn’t have sufficient fare, and Sanabria offered to give her a ride in his car so she could see a family member, charging documents state.
He picked her up in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant in the 7200 block of Pacific Avenue, the documents said, but instead of taking her where she wanted to go, took her to a dirt road near South 84th Street.
He raped her, the documents said, then drove back into Tacoma. He pulled into a parking lot and let her jump from the moving vehicle before he fled.
The woman gave police a description of Sanabria’s car, including its license plate number, the documents said. The car was seized outside Sanabria’s house, but he was not home.
In the Dec. 26 freeway crash, a stolen car Sanabria was driving headed north in the southbound lanes and hit a vehicle going in the opposite direction, according to the State Patrol.
Sanabria was seriously injured and had to be extricated from the car by aid workers, State Patrol spokeswoman Brooke Bova told The News Tribune at the time. He was taken to Madigan.
The driver of the other vehicle, a 32-year-old Tacoma man, suffered a broken arm and was taken to an area hospital, Bova said.