Police say they believe a Vancouver woman accused in two hit-and-run crashes involving pedestrians Wednesday night was driving under the influence.
Court records show that one victim, who has not yet been identified, is not expected to survive. She was undergoing emergency medical care at a hospital. The other victim, identified in court records as Florence Mbah, suffered a broken left wrist and minor abrasions. She was treated at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.
The alleged driver, Trista M. Egli, 31, appeared Thursday morning in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of DUI, reckless driving and two counts of vehicular assault.
Vancouver police officers were dispatched at 8:01 p.m. to reports of the first hit-and-run crash in the area of East Mill Plain Boulevard and Northeast Andresen Road.
A dark blue Dodge Caravan was traveling east on Mill Plain and attempted to turn left onto northbound Andresen when it left the road, jumped the curb and drove onto the sidewalk. Mbah was standing on the sidewalk when she was struck, according to an affidavit of probable cause. The suspect vehicle drove off.
Three minutes later, the van was seen speeding west on 18th Street and passing a vehicle in the oncoming lane, the affidavit says. The van then drove through “an occupied crosswalk,” west of General Anderson Avenue, police said, and struck the woman, referred to as Jane Doe in court documents. The woman was thrown into the air and landed on the road, court records state.
The van once again fled the scene and was located near 18th Street and Murray Court. It had significant front-end damage. Witnesses at both crash scenes identified the van and driver as Egli, and she was detained, according to court documents.
Egli told officers she was “frantic” and saw the pedestrian lying in the road but decided not to stop or slow down. She did not admit to striking the pedestrian but allegedly said she knew what she did was wrong and decided to return to the scene when she saw police vehicles, the affidavit says.
She said she drank one beer several hours prior and took prescribed medication for depression and anxiety earlier in the day, court documents state.
“As Trista was speaking, her mood wildly changed from crying to laughing and then to silence at times,” the officer wrote in the affidavit. “Trista’s behavior was erratic; one minute she would be standing still and the next she would be flinging her arms around and grabbing at officers.”
The officer said he could smell the strong odor of intoxicants on Egli’s breath. She was slurring her speech and would pause throughout her sentences. Her eyes were bloodshot and watery, and she displayed poor balance; Egli had difficulty standing and walking on her own, and officers had to catch her before she fell, according to the affidavit.
Egli failed a voluntary sobriety test and refused to take a preliminary breath test. At the West Precinct, she refused to participate in a Drug Recognition Evaluation, police said. Her blood was drawn for toxicology testing, court records state.
On Thursday, her bail was set at $100,000. She will be arraigned June 11.