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Scene of an officer-involved crash on Main Street (April 11, 2019). Photo: My Ferndale News

Felony vehicular assault charge filed from officer-involved crash

FERNDALE, Wash. — Whatcom County Prosecutor Eric Richey has filed a felony vehicular assault charge against Ferndale Police Lieutenant William “Bill” Hatchett, age 46, as a result of an April 11th Main Street crash.

According to Whatcom County Superior Court records, charges were filed against Hatchett on November 25th. The specific charge is from RCW 46.61.522(1)(c), vehicular assault with disregard for the safety of others and causes substantial bodily harm to another, a class b felony.

The crash occurred when Hatchett was driving an unmarked Ferndale Police Department 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV eastbound on Main Street and collided with a 2016 Subaru Impreza 4-door hatchback in the intersection of Main Street and 2 private roads identified as Joe Moser Lane and Dick Stone Lane. The Chevrolet had heavy front-end damage and the Subaru had heavy damage to the driver’s side door.

Whatcom County Fire District 7 personnel used a hydraulic rescue tool known as the “Jaws of Life” to extricate the driver from the Subaru. Hatchett was transported to PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center for precautionary reasons via ambulance and the driver from the Subaru was transported via advanced life support protocol (ALS) via a medic unit.

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It was later reported by the Washington State Patrol (WSP) that the driver of the Subaru, identified as a 64-year-old Ferndale woman, had been airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. WSP investigators reported later that day that Hatchett, although responding to a call and with his vehicle emergency lights activated, failed to yield at a red light at the intersection.

Scene of an officer-involved crash on Main Street (April 11, 2019). Photo: My Ferndale News
Scene of an officer-involved crash on Main Street (April 11, 2019). Photo: My Ferndale News

When asked, City of Ferndale Communications Officer Riley Sweeney said the city does not comment on pending law suits.

According to court records, charge was filed with the court on November 25th and a preliminary appearance hearing is scheduled for December 13th.

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One Comment

  1. Dean Price Dean Price November 27, 2019

    I was charged with second-degree vehicular assault in 1994 an incident outside of Ferndale. The collision was very minor with only an estimated $500 damage and there were no injuries however I was charged because I left the scene.with a public defender I was sentenced to 5 months in county jail two years probation and lost my license for 10 years on a first offense. It’ll be interesting to see what happens here…

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