Bellingham, WA – According to a press release from the Washington State Patrol (WSP), a man involved in a Felony Hit and Run Collision on Interstate-5 has been arrested. On the evening of January 31, 2018, WSP troopers in Bellingham responded to a Hit and Run Collision involving a pedestrian. The trooper who arrived at the scene was investigating a 9-1-1 call which had reported that someone was walking on or near the freeway. The trooper first noticed a backpack laying in the roadway, and later located the pedestrian, who was in the bushes along the shoulder of the freeway, south of Samish Way.
The pedestrian, Lucas K. Brazier, 23, sustained critical injuries and was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Brazier is a junior at Western Washington University in Bellingham. He is currently listed in serious condition, with head injuries and broken legs. Based on evidence that was collected during the on-scene investigation, the fleeing vehicle was determined to be a green 1991-1996 Ford Escort or Mercury Tracer.
On February 1, 2018, the Washington State Patrol sent out a media release seeking witnesses or anyone with information regarding this Hit and Run Collision. On February 2, 2018, WSP received a call from a witness who had read about the collision in the Bellingham Herald. The witness identified the driver to the fleeing vehicle to be Luis Gomez Gutierrez, 51, of Sedro Woolley. WSP detectives were then able to follow-up on the lead and eventually arrested the suspect in Sedro Woolley on February 5, 2018. He was booked into the Whatcom County Jail for Hit and Run Injury Collision, which is a Class C Felony.
Additional follow-up after the arrest lead detectives to the discovery of the involved vehicle, a green 1995 Ford Escort wagon, which was located in the Bow Hill area. Detectives served a search warrant and seized the vehicle; the damage to the vehicle was consistent with the evidence that was recovered during the on-scene investigation.
In their press release, the Washington State Patrol also stated that they are working hard to solve all Hit and Run Collisions, regardless of the severity. They recognize that it takes a team effort; officers, public, and the media in order to obtain this goal. They advised that if you’ve been involved in a Hit and Run Collision, or have witnessed one, that it is vitally important to get the license plate number of the fleeing vehicle, and then call 9-1-1.