FERNDALE, Wash. — Just past midnight on Saturday, January 4th, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) deputies say they were waiting for a train to clear a crossing when they observed a pickup truck towing a cattle trailer enter the crossing immediately after a train had just passed, breaking a railroad crossing arm off its pole mount.
According to documents submitted to Whatcom County Superior Court, the pickup was observed by the deputies not stopping after damaging the crossing arm at the Grandview Road and Portal Way crossing and to be driving recklessly. Deputies activated emergency lights on their marked patrol cars in an effort to get the driver of the pickup to stop.
The pickup was seen crossing the center line multiple times and reaching speeds in excess of 65mph while being pursued. The fleeing pickup turned southbound onto Olson Road and then westbound onto Brown Road. While turning onto Brown Road, the trailer was seen by deputies going into and bouncing out of the ditch. The pickup then turned onto Family Hill Lane, a dead-end road.
The driver, later identified as Aaron M Lancaster, age 47, of Ferndale, was seen fleeing the pickup truck on foot after it stopped on Family Hill Lane. Deputies continued the pursuit on foot aided by their K9 partner, Jag. Jag caught up to Lancaster and held him until deputies could take him into custody. According to an email from WCSO Chief Deputy Kevin Hester, Lancaster fought with Jag and received a bite to his arm in return.
Whatcom County Fire District 7 aid crews were called to the scene to address Lancaster’s dog bite injury. Hester said in his email, “he was taken to the hospital where he received treatment for the bite to the arm and then was booked into the Whatcom County Jail for: Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle, DUI, Hit and Run Attended, Malicious Mischief 1st and Resisting Arrest.”
Jail records indicate Lancaster posted a $10,000 bond the next day and was released from custody pending an appearance at his initial arraignment hearing scheduled for tomorrow, January 10th.