Crime

Man blamed for I-5 backup in Lakewood said he fled cops because he recently got out of jail

Pierce County prosecutors have filed criminal charges against a man suspected of fleeing Lakewood police and causing a crash that led to a five-mile backup Wednesday on Interstate 5.

West Hiatt, 33, was charged with attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, failure to remain at the scene of an injury accident, first-degree criminal trespassing, third-degree driving on a suspended license and failure to have an ignition interlock.

He pleaded not guilty and was ordered held in lieu of $75,000 bail.

According to charging papers:

The incident started about 8:20 a.m. when an officer noticed Hiatt make a turn without a signal and tried to pull him over in the 2700 block of 84th Avenue South.

Hiatt sped away and got onto southbound I-5.

As he tried to switch lanes, Hiatt lost control of his vehicle, which hit a pickup truck and pushed it onto the cement barrier. The truck slid 120 feet down the barrier before striking a light pole.

Chunks of cement hit a passing vehicle, injuring a woman inside.

Hiatt ran across the freeway and hid inside a nearby business. He was arrested after an employee directed police to where he was hiding.

“Hiatt said he fled because he recently got out of jail, was in Drug Court, and his license was suspended,” court documents state.

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