EVERETT, Wash. – Neighbors in South Everett tackled a suspected drunken driver after they said he came within feet of running over their children.
The hit-and-run happened on Sunday night, said Everett Police spokesman Aaron Snell.
A 27-year-old driver is reported to have jumped a curb on 13th Avenue West and Holly Drive, lost control, and crashed into a maple tree.
“The tree saved the kids and all of us here,” said Sankung Darboe, who tackled the driver so he couldn’t get away. “We couldn’t imagine what would’ve happened if it wasn’t for that tree.”
Darboe said he heard the driver come peeling around the corner of Holly Drive, hit the curb and lose control. “He had to be on something,” said Darboe.
Police said they believe the driver had been drinking, but before they could arrive and arrest him, Darboe said the driver took off running.
“It was so scary, because that’s where the kids were playing, where his car landed,” he said.
Darboe said his parental instinct took over, causing him to chase and tackle the driver to the ground.
“It could’ve been a stolen car, he could’ve gotten off and nobody would have ever caught him.”
Darboe broke his wrist in the struggle, but said it was worth it.
“We needed to catch him and make sure the cops will get a hold of him and save our kids and the community.”
Everett Police said they will never encourage anyone to chase a suspect; they’d prefer people call 911 and let police do their job, but Snell said he understands where Darboe was coming from.
“It is one of those crimes that gets parents of any kind,” said Snell.
Parents said all it takes is a few minutes on 13th Avenue West to catch drivers blowing past the 25 mph posted speed limit. Down the block, neighbors made a makeshift sign, with a spray painted 5 mph limit.
“We need to find some kind of way of limiting the driving here,” said Darboe.
Parents said they are considering asking the city for speed bumps in their neighborhood, hoping to find a permanent solution for the problem.