2 injured in suspected DUI crash in Bremerton, 1 charged with vehicular assault

Two people were injured in a crash at the Sylvan Way-Wheaton Way intersection in Bremerton Monday morning in which a man was suspected of driving while intoxicated, according to court documents. A 32-year-old Bremerton man, who said he had been driving one of the vehicles involved in the incident, told police that he had been drinking earlier, and investigators found two cases of beer and several loose cans in his vehicle, police said.

Prosecutors charged the 32-year-old with one count of vehicular assault in Kitsap County Superior Court on Tuesday. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, and his bail was set at $50,000. In the man's initial court hearing Tuesday, deputy prosecuting attorney Joy Faraj noted a 2020 DUI charge in Bremerton Municipal Court that was amended to a count of first-degree negligent driving in November last year.

In the incident on Monday, police were called to the scene of the crash at the intersection of Sylvan Way and Wheaton Way shortly after 5 a.m., according to court documents. When they arrived, they found a Subaru Forester with severe front-end damage in the intersection and bystanders helping a man to a bench. Witnesses identified that man as a passenger in the Subaru and another man, the suspect, who they believed was drunk, as the driver, a Bremerton police officer wrote in a report about the incident.

The injured Subaru passenger complained of extreme pain and was taken to St. Michael Medical Center in Silverdale. Police later learned that he suffered a broken leg and was being admitted to the hospital.

Police also found a Toyota Tundra a short distance from the intersection down an embankment into the nearby Walgreens parking lot. The driver of the truck told police he did not remember the crash and did not know how his vehicle came to rest where it did. He was bleeding from his nose and complained of pain, and he was also taken to the hospital. He later returned to the scene of the collision and informed officers that he suffered a broken nose, a separated shoulder and a laceration to the right side of his nose, the officer wrote.

The 32-year-old suspect told police that he was making a left turn onto Sylvan Way from Wheaton Way with a flashing yellow arrow and said he didn't see the other vehicle until the crash happened. He told police that he had been drinking at a Bremerton arcade and then affirmed that he had gone to a friend's house to continue drinking, according to court documents. Officers saw that he was swaying while standing, had poor coordination and smelled of a "strong odor of alcoholic beverages," the Bremerton officer noted.

"I asked (the man) if he thought his ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol, his response was to shrug his shoulders," the officer wrote.

The man declined to do field sobriety testing or a preliminary breath test and later wouldn't blow into an analyzer at the Bremerton Police Department, the officer wrote. He was taken to St. Michael Medical Center, cleared by a physician and a blood draw was taken.

This article originally appeared on Kitsap Sun: 2 injured in suspected DUI crash in Bremerton, Washington