Police: 63-year-old Good Samaritan dragged, run over by van driver he was trying to help

(Photo: Thurston County Sheriff's Office)

(Photo: Thurston County Sheriff's Office)

LACEY, Wash. — A 63-year-old man trying to help those in a traffic accident in Lacey on Tuesday was injured when the driver of the causing vehicle tried to flee the scene and dragged the Good Samaritan alongside the van before running him over, the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said.

The van sped away before hitting yet another car. The driver of the van, a 24-year-old man from Tacoma, tried to flee on foot at that point, the sheriff’s office said, but he was captured by deputies and booked into Thurston County Jail for investigation of hit-and-run, first-degree assault and possible DUI.

The sheriff’s office said the incident began sometime after 3 p.m. near the intersection of Sleater-Kinney Road and 15th Avenue NE in Lacey.

The 24-year-old Tacoma man was driving northbound on Sleater-Kinney Road NE in a van when he made “an extremely wide eastbound turn onto 15th Ave. NE, which put his vehicle into the opposite lane of travel” and struck a car that was westbound on 15th Avenue NE.  Neither the driver of the car nor the suspect were injured, the sheriff’s office said.

But upon seeing the crash,  Gary Lane, 63, stopped his car and approached the van on foot to check on the welfare of the driver. Realizing the driver was trying to drive away, Lane explained to the driver that he could not leave, the sheriff’s office said, but the driver grabbed Lane’s arm and “began to drag him.”  Lane fell under the van and then into a ditch, deputies said.

The van then drove away and veered into a second vehicle, a Ford Explorer, and  became stuck in a ditch. At that point, the sheriff’s office said, the driver tried to flee on foot, but was captured by arriving deputies.

The only significant injuries were to Lane, who had a broken arm, broken ribs and a laceration to the head, the sheriff’s office said.