A Pasco man suspected of being intoxicated and involved in a hit-and-run crash in a stolen pickup was arrested after the truck was found 40 feet off the road buried in brush and trees, police said.
Juan Manuel Garcia, 20, allegedly stole a 2011 Chevy Silverado truck on Monday after he was hired to help the owner move household items into her Richland home, said Richland police Capt. Mike Cobb.
The 52-year-old woman reported the truck was stolen sometime after 5 p.m.
At 10:51 p.m., Garcia was involved in a hit-and-run crash with another truck on Allenwhite Drive in Richland, Cobb said.
An electrical utility box was hit, and power temporarily was knocked out in the area.
Six minutes later, dispatchers received a call from a south Richland citizen reporting a loud crash and squealing tires that sounded like a crash near Columbia Park Trail and Leslie Road, Cobb said.
Dispatchers also got a call a minute later from an OnStar operator who reported the driver of a 2011 Chevy Silverado said he had just been in a crash.
The crash was said to be in the same area of Columbia Park Trail, Cobb said.
Several Richland police officers and Richland firefighters responded, but weren't able to find the crash scene until 11:11 p.m.
The truck was completely buried in Russian olive trees and brush.
Garcia apparently had been going east on Columbia Park Trail, crossed over into the westbound lane of travel, left the road and flew about 90 feet through the air, Cobb said.
The truck then dropped more than 20 feet down into the Riverview Natural Preserve and continued about another 75 feet through the trees and brush, he said.
A head-on collision with a tree eventually forced the truck to stop.
Firefighters had to use chain saws to clear a path to the pickup so they could reach Garcia and so a tow truck could pull out the mangled vehicle.
Cobb said it looked like the truck had been in a rollover, even though it never rolled over.
Garcia, who was not cooperative, was handcuffed to the medical backboard even though he was injured, Cobb said.
He was taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, and likely will need additional treatment for a knee injury, Cobb said.
When released from the hospital, Garcia is expected to be booked into the Benton County jail on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle, hit-and-run crash, DUI and minor in possession of alcohol.