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Mercedes involved in a rollover crash on W Smith Road ended up in the brush off W Smith Road (June 5, 2017). Photo: Discover Ferndale

Driver in rollover crash tased by first responders

The 26-year-old male driver in what was described as a high-speed rollover crash on W Smith Road in the morning of Monday, June 5th, was tased by a Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) deputy and a Ferndale Police Department (FPD) officer after they arrived at the scene.

WCSO Undersheriff Jeff Parks said the deputy was first on scene of the crash on W Smith Road between Hovander Road and LaBounty Drive. The deputy was assaulted by the subject who threw a basketball at him and refused commands. The subject was combative and ultimately tased by both the deputy and the FPD officer according to Parks.

The driver was transported by ambulance to PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center for precautionary reasons. A Washington State Patrol trooper met up with him at PeaceHealth to evaluate whether he was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. According to Parks, the trooper did not find sufficient evidence the driver was affected by drugs and/or alcohol.

According to FPD Lieutenant Bill Hatchett, Ryan Stauffer, age 26, was later cited by Ferndale Police for reckless driving, a misdemeanor. FPD mailed Stauffer the citation.

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It was said in the comments to the earlier story of this crash a volunteer firefighter arrived at the scene and attempted to render aid. According to the statement provided to Ferndale Police and to Discover Ferndale, as he drove toward the scene of the crash he encountered “a man wearing a red shirt bouncing a basketball walking towards the overpass.” He stopped and confirmed the man was the driver of the car. “The individual then said to me ‘how about you give me your car’ he reached for my door and opened it. I wrestled with him and then was able to push him out of the way with my door as I accelerated to leave the area.”

Parks said the WCSO has forwarded the case to the prosecutors office for review of the charges of resisting arrest, 3rd degree assault and reckless/negligent driving.

tracks leading to brush in w smith rd rollover 2017-05-05 0515
4 separate tire tracks seen leading to the vehicle involved in a rollover crash on W Smith Road indicate the vehicle was sideways at that point. Arrow indicates where vehicle came to rest (June 5, 2017). Photo: Discover Ferndale

11am 6/21/17The story was updated to include a statement from a volunteer firefighter who attempted to render aid.

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