A suspected drunken driver who fled early Friday after causing a three-vehicle collision on Interstate 5 later was arrested, thanks to the car’s license plate falling off at the crash scene, the Washington State Patrol said.
Troopers said the man was northbound on I-5 about 12:30 a.m. when he rear-ended a 1996 Honda Civic driving next to his 2014 Mercedes ML350.
The Honda hit a jersey barrier near 54th Avenue. The impact knocked out the lights in the family’s Honda, leaving them blocking a lane on the dark highway.
A 37-year-old man got out of the Honda to check on his 1-year-old son in the backseat moments before a 2014 Dodge Ram van struck the Honda.
The Mercedes’ driver drove away.
Troopers were able to track him down using the front license plate that was left behind at the scene of the crash.
The dad and his 26-year-old female passenger, both from Auburn, were taken to Tacoma General Hospital with injuries. Their son was not hurt.
“These folks are extremely lucky,” trooper Guy Gill said. “This could have been so much worse.”
He said the family was driving home from the hospital when they were struck by the drunken driver’s car.
The man was booked into Pierce County Jail on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and vehicular assault.