As a Bellevue car accident lawyer, I cease to be shocked at the different obstacles and hazards the road throws at drivers. Anything from a fatal drunk driving accident to a distracted driver leading to a fatal car collision as a man changes his tire all are common place. The high speed chase that shut down I-5 for two hours yesterday, however, is a little shocking.
On September 1st, Seattle drivers were stuck in an extensive traffic jam as police pursued a 23-year-old male with a warrant for his arrest.
The suspect, identified as Joseph Ohms, was followed in a high speed chase down Route 526 and he opened fire on the police officer, sticking the patrol car. The pursuit continued onto southbound I-5 from Everett when Ohms struck a van triggering the accident, that not only knocked the van on its side, but sent it sliding down the freeway for a considerable distance. The driver of the van, Tammy Fietkau, had her window open at the time of the collision and her arm was torn up when the van slid down the road. Fietkau, a 49-year-old woman was sent to Harborview Medical Center with significant injuries.
The Ohms’ car then spun out and crashed into a guard rail- sending him out on foot to evade police. Joseph Ohms was then pursued with the aid of search dogs and later arrested due to the helpful tips of local witnesses at the 7100 block of Olympic.
The suspect was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.
The fugitives car was thought to be stolen initially, but it has been discovered that the car was not stolen and simply had canceled license plates.
I wish Tammy Fietkau, an innocent bystander injured in this high speed chase, recovers fully from her injuries.