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Police: Hit-and-run suspect on run asks man for ride — he drives her right to sheriff’s investigators

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BREMERTON, Wash. — A 23-year-old South Kitsap woman is  facing felony charges for a hit-and-run, head-on collision in central Kitsap County that left two people seriously injured.

The collision took place at about 5:53 p.m. Thursday in the 2900 block of Chico Way NW, north of the city limits of Bremerton.

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office said Friday that a preliminary report indicated that the causing driver, Vanessa Karwacki, 23, of South Kitsap,  had drinks at a local bar before driving her Nissan Sentra at a high rate of speed northbound on Chico Way.  She had a 21-year-old male passenger in her car who was not wearing his seatbelt.

Trying to pass another car in front of her, she moved into the southbound lane, but collided head-on with a Chevy Cobalt heading in the opposite direction.  The sheriff’s office reported that witnesses said Karwacki, who had been wearing her seatbelt, ran from the scene, leaving behind her injured passenger and the injured 64-year-old driver of the Cobalt.

“Meanwhile, a local area resident was out with his dog on Golf Club Hill Road when the crash occurred. The man heard the collision and then sirens from emergency vehicles. Within a few minutes a barefoot adult female emerged from a wooded area. This woman, later identified as Karwacki, solicited a ride from the man, offering him money to get her away from the area,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

“The citizen, aware of what was taking place, agreed to provide the woman a ride, then delivered her to sheriff’s traffic investigators,” the sheriff’s office said.

Karwacki was booked into jail on charges of vehicular assault and hit-and-run (injury).  She may be charged with DUI, too, as a blood sample was being analyzed for alcohol level.  Bail has been set at $100,000.