Fugitive Mistakenly Thinks Police Chasing Him, Hits and Kills Pedestrian
Authorities say the pedestrian struck and killed in a casino parking lot by a SUV was hit by a wanted felon who mistakenly thought police were chasing him.
Wednesday, 44-year-old Reachella Partman was fatally struck in a parking lot at the Mukleshoot Casino in Auburn, WA. The driver, Russel Ward, was wanted on felony escape from community custody for failing to report to his corrections officer February 23rd. He had been released from prison in 2011 after serving nearly six years on a manslaughter charge.
Authorities say Ward was driving an SUV when a police officer behind him turned on his lights and siren to respond to a burglary call. Ward thought the officer was after him, and sped away quickly. But the policeman didn't know Ward was driving the SUV, and continued on past him to the burglary call.
In his panic, Ward lost control of the vehicle, and struck Partman as she was walking on the sidewalk by the Casino parking lot. Ward's vehicle then flipped, landing on top of another vehicle in the lot!
Officials say Ward has failed to follow the terms of his release 17 times. He was ejected from the SUV in the crash, an update on his condition was not available Friday.