A crash that cut power to 1,800 in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood last week happened when suspects in a nearby drive-by shooting fled police and hit a utility pole, according to court records.
A vehicle with three young men inside crashed into the pole about 5:45 p.m. Jan. 25 at South Seventh Street and Sprague Avenue, causing the outage, Pierce County prosecutors said.
The 17-year-old driver and two passengers, ages 17 and 21, were charged in connection to the drive-by shooting, which happened at a house at South 17th Street and Ainsworth Avenue just before the crash. No one was hurt.
The 21-year-old pleaded not guilty Wednesday; the teens pleaded not guilty Friday. All are being held in lieu of $200,000 bail pending trial.
They’re charged with drive-by shooting, three counts of first-degree assault and unlawful gun possession. The driver is charged with trying to elude police as well.
Charging papers give this account:
Officers patrolling near South 14th Street and Ainsworth Avenue heard gunfire about 5:30 p.m. and saw a car heading toward them at high speed. The officers followed the car and turned on their patrol car’s emergency equipment.
The speeding car, which was registered to the driver’s mother, accelerated recklessly in front of other vehicles, hit the curb of an intersection and then continued fleeing the officers.
The car swerved in and out of the center lane to avoid traffic before crashing into a utility pole near South Seventh Street and Sprague Avenue. Live wires and sparks showered down when the car sheared off the pole, cutting power to the area.
The officers drew their weapons and took the trio into custody.
Under the driver’s seat officers found a gun containing bullets similar to casings found by a house near South 17th and Ainsworth that was hit with about seven rounds about the time the officers heard gunfire.
Three people were inside at the time.