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Hazel Dell man accused of DUI after car crash

A Hazel Dell man appeared in court Monday on allegations that he crashed a car and injured a passenger while intoxicated Friday night in Vancouver’s Bagley Downs neighborhood.

Jose A. Covarrubias-Lopez, 21, appeared in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of vehicular assault, attempt to elude, driving under the influence, reckless driving and third-degree driving with a suspended license.

Judge Gregory Gonzales set bail at $75,000, and an arraignment was scheduled for Friday, according to court records.

At 6:37 p.m. Friday, a Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputy — working a shift focusing on heightened DUI enforcement — observed two vehicles speeding east on East Fourth Plain Boulevard in Vancouver, according to an affidavit of probable cause. The deputy believed the white Jeep Compass with no license plates and a white Mercedes CL5 were racing and attempted to stop them.

Both drivers sped away from the deputy, who continued to pursue the Mercedes after the Jeep turned north onto General Anderson Road, according to the affidavit. The Mercedes jumped a curb and struck a utility pole at Northeast Stapleton Road, spun and crossed the intersection before coming to rest after hitting a pedestrian crossing signal, the affidavit said.

The sheriff’s deputy detained Covarrubias-Lopez. His passenger, Precious Alvarado, had to be freed from the wreckage by a Vancouver Fire Department crew.

Alvarado suffered cuts and other injuries to her face, arms and abdomen, according to the affidavit. She was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center and discharged later that night, according to the hospital.

Covarrubias-Lopez appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and asked to be taken to jail because he “knew he was in trouble,” according to the affidavit. He told deputies that the Jeep had cut him off, causing him to become angry and attempt to pass the vehicle, the affidavit said.

Covarrubias-Lopez said he didn’t know that a deputy was attempting to stop him, according to the affidavit. He failed a field sobriety test but refused a preliminary breath test, saying he had not consumed alcohol but did smoke marijuana several hours earlier, the affidavit said. A blood sample was taken and sent for a toxicology analysis.


Source: https://www.columbian.com

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