Washington man arrested for Halloween crash that killed 7-year-old girl
VANCOUVER, Wash. — A Vancouver, Wash., man accused of slamming his car into a group of trick-or-treaters, killing a 7-year-old girl and critically injuring a 6-year-old and an adult, was booked into jail Monday on charges of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault, KPTV reported.
Police said Duane Abbott, 47, of Vancouver, drove over a curb and hit a group of people at 8:15 p.m. on Halloween near Northeast 112th Avenue and 39th Street in Vancouver.
Two adults and two girls were struck. Seven-year-old Cadence Boyer died at the hospital on Sunday.
Her mother, 32-year-old Annie Arnold, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. A second adult, 30-year-old Chelina Alsteen, remained in critical condition on Monday.
A second girl, who is 6 years old and has not been identified, also suffered critical injuries in the crash.
In a letter sent home to Orchards Elementary School families, administrators said the girl is showing signs of improvement.
Cadence was a second-grader at the same school.
According to KPTV (FOX 12 News) in Portland, Cadence’s father, Kevin Boyer Jr., said on Monday that his last memory of his little girl was seeing her in her pink Batman suit on Halloween.
He later rushed to the scene of the crash and said it was like a nightmare.
“I get there and I’m looking and I look straight down and I see my daughter, she’s laying there not moving and there’s blood coming out of her nose,” he said. “They said she wasn’t breathing and I kept trying to grab her and they wouldn’t let me near her.”
Police said Abbott was impaired at the time of the crash, but investigators have not yet elaborated further as the investigation continues.
A friend of Abbott told FOX 12, “He’s a good guy overall and he has a good heart, he’s just got a lot of problems. And he needs help.”
Kevin Boyer said his life was all about his daughter from the second she woke up each day. Other close friends and family members said she was their little princess.
“Duane Abbott took a piece of my heart, of my family’s heart, and I will never get that piece of heart back,” said Cathy Boyer, Cadence’s grandmother.
Abbott is scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday morning.
According to court records, Abbott has multiple criminal convictions dating back to 1985, including operating a vehicle without a license or insurance in 2008 and possession of methamphetamine in 2011.