KENNEWICK — A stolen car crashed into a Kennewick home after speeding away from police and the driver still is on the loose, police said.
Derick J. Jackson is being sought after jumping out of the 2007 Honda Accord and running away from the crash scene, said Kennewick police Sgt. Ken Lattin.
Jackson was driving eastbound on 27th Avenue when it reportedly clipped the curb in the roundabout at Vancouver Street, went through a fence and hit a house.
The crash occurred at 11:30 a.m. Monday, after the nephew of the car's owner spotted the car driving near Clearwater Avenue and Arthur Street, Lattin said.
Darrell Colbert reported his car stolen Wednesday. He said it was taken from his West Canal Drive home sometime between midnight and 7 a.m., Lattin said.
Colbert suspected he may have left the keys in the car because he could not account for his second set of keys, Lattin said.
After Colbert's nephew spotted the stolen car, Kennewick patrol officers located it on Union Avenue and tried to stop the driver.
Jackson continued south on Union Avenue going the speed limit, but failed to stop for the police car that had its lights and sirens activated, Lattin said.
Jackson's speed started increasing as he turned east on 27th Avenue across Highway 395, so the officer following him called off the chase because it was too dangerous, Lattin said.
Jackson continued speeding down 27th Avenue until he lost control in the roundabout and crashed into the house.
Officers quickly surrounded the area around 27th Avenue and Vancouver Street and called out a K-9 unit to try to find Jackson, but he avoided arrest.
His two passengers, Shanise E. McClendon, 18, and Traybion T. Dickerson, 19, both of Pasco, were arrested and booked into the Benton County jail on suspicion of first-degree possession of a stolen car.
Jackson was last seen wearing a white T-shirt with red letters and jean shorts. He is a known gang associate and a convicted felon, Lattin said.
Jackson is wanted for first-degree possession of a stolen car, felony eluding of a police officer and felon possessing a firearm.
Anyone who sees Jackson or knows where he is is asked to call 911, Lattin said.
Pasco man drives car into irrigation canal
PASCO — An upside down car in an irrigation canal near Pasco caused a stir as rescue crews tried to determine if someone still was inside.
No one saw the 1993 Mitsubishi Diamante go into the Esquetzel Canal on Bellevue Road near Selph Landing Road, but a passer-by called 911 after spotting the submerged car just before noon Monday, officials said.
Only the car's wheels were visible in the deep canal and officials quickly called out Columbia Basin Dive Rescue to check for occupants.
Franklin County sheriff's deputies, Franklin Fire District 3 crews, a Pasco Fire ambulance and Washington State Patrol troopers responded.
While crews were getting ready to search the car, the driver, Eleazar Curiel, 25, of Pasco, showed up.
Curiel said he was driving south on Bellevue Road fiddling with his cell phone to try to get music playing when he drove into the canal.
He said the car went in nose first, then flipped onto its top. He was able to get out with just minor scratches.
But, instead of calling 911, Curiel went home to shower and called his mom before returning to the crash scene.
"Since he walked home and took a shower, he should have called us," said sheriff's Sgt. Jim Dickenson. "We could have avoided a lot of this."
Dickenson said drivers involved in similar situations should call 911 immediately.
As Casady Towing in Pasco, with help from Dive Rescue members, pulled the car out of the canal, Curiel's mother showed up and hugged her son. "He's going to be in trouble but I'm just relieved that he's fine," she said.
The canal is operated by the South Columbia Irrigation District, but irrigation staff said there were no concerns about the water being contaminated.
Eltopia sex offender accused of assaulting woman
ELTOPIA — A registered sex offender living in Eltopia is back behind bars after allegedly sexually assaulting a young woman during a birthday party.
Tyson Lee Whittlesey, 21, was ordered held in the Franklin County jail on investigation of indecent liberties with forcible compulsion.
Franklin County Superior Court Judge Robert Swisher set bail at $50,000 for Whittlesey, who is a Level 2 sex offender.
Whittlesey asked for a lower bail, saying his criminal history -- which includes a child molestation conviction -- were juvenile crimes.
"They've all been taken care of," he said.
But, Swisher followed the prosecutor's bail recommendation, saying, "these are serious charges -- serious, serious charges."
According to investigators and court documents, Franklin County sheriff's detectives began investigating the sexual assault just before 10 a.m. Sunday after the victim went to Lourdes Medical Center in Pasco for treatment.
The young woman identified Whittlesey as the suspect and said the assault occurred at Whittlesey's home at 200 Tacoma Ave., in Eltopia, said Detective Lee Barrow.
She said she met Whittlesey on the internet two or three weeks ago and made arrangements to go to his home for a party, documents said.
Whittlesey picked up the woman, her friend and Whittlesey's male cousin, then bought four boxes of beer for the birthday celebration, documents said.
Whittlesey turned 21 on Sunday.
Whittlesey gave everyone beer, including the woman who was not old enough to drink, and she said she drank about six beers and was drunk, documents said.
After having consensual sex, Whittlesey then forced himself on her, despite being told five times to stop.
Whittlesey refused to give her a ride home, so the woman said she walked to a neighbor's house and asked a stranger for a ride to Kennewick.
Whittlesey was arrested and reportedly told detectives the woman asked him to stop and that he felt he raped her, documents said.
Prosecutors have until 4 p.m. Wednesday to charge Whittlesey. If charged, his next court appearance is Sept. 28.
* Photographer Kai-Huei Yau contributed to this report.
* Paula Horton: 509-582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org