Storms may have been eluding police before fatal crash

SPOKANE, Wash. - The suspect in a fatal hit and run collision in northeast Spokane Sunday afternoon was trying to elude a police officer who may have been getting ready to pull him over.

Bryan Jacob Storms, 38, had an outstanding warrant out for his arrest when he drove past a marked patrol car as Storms headed north on Helena Street.

The officer saw something suspicious about Storms or his black Honda and had made a u-turn to follow the vehicle when Storms punched the accelerator and then ran the stop sign at Helena and Empire in excess of 50 miles an hour.

"There was no pursuit; we weren't chasing the car. He just observed the car driving at a high rate of speed at Helena and then the accident happened before he even had a chance to get it behind it," Captain Dave Richards with the Spokane Police Department said.

Storms eluding follow-up

Storms' speeding Honda hit a Ford Ranger in the passenger side door, killing the driver instantly, the force of the impact driving the truck into a power pole, trapping the victim inside.

"After the collision occurred, the suspect driver got out and fled on foot and then a citizen pulled up and then went after the driver along with the officer who saw him to begin with, and so with the help of the citizen, we took the driver into custody," Richards said.

Two passengers who were in the car with Storms suffered serious injuries; one of them broke nine ribs.

After he was apprehended, Storms was also taken to the hospital with his own injuries where a sample of his blood was taken to determine if he was driving under the influence.

He was subsequently charged with hit and run, a single count of vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault.

Storms has previous convictions for theft, possession of a controlled substance and two counts of eluding. In addition to the warrant out for his arrest for escaping community custody, Storms did not have a valid Washington driver's license.

The passengers inside Storms' car also told police at the hospital that they felt he was under the influence of methamphetamine, which would also be a violation of his release from prison.

Storms, who made his first appearance in court Monday, had his bail set at $250,000.