Democrat law blocking high-speed police pursuit blamed for death of two children in Washington state

by WorldTribune Staff, March 6, 2023

Leftist Democrat policy is being blamed for the deaths of two young children who were killed in a crash by a driver going the wrong way on Interstate 82 in Washington state.

Policy passed by Washington state Democrats requires that police have probable cause that someone committed certain crimes before engaging in vehicle pursuits. / Washington State Patrol

The crash occurred on Feb. 28 near Sunnyside when an 8-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy were killed after the car they were riding in was hit head-on by a driver going the wrong way on I-82, the Post Millennial reported.

An hour prior the fatal crash, troopers from the Washington State Patrol in Ellensburg attempted to stop the suspect who was recorded speeding at 111 miles per hour on I-90. But, due to a ban on police pursuits imposed on law enforcement by Washington Democrats, the troopers were forced to stop the pursuit.

In 2021, the Democrat-dominated state Legislature passed House Bill 1054, requiring that police have probable cause that someone committed certain crimes before engaging in vehicle pursuits.

An bipartisan effort to reform the police pursuit law was blocked by Democrat state Sen. Manka Dhingra, who chairs the Law & Justice Committee. The bill won’t move without her support.

Washington State Trooper Chris Thorson said: “Under current laws that the legislature passed, police officers are not allowed to pursue vehicles unless it’s something felonious in nature or suspected DUI. In this scenario, it was someone speeding really fast and that’s all the troopers had for probable cause at the time. So they had to follow the current law and terminate the pursuit.”

Selah police Chief Dan Christman said the law requires police to know that someone is more likely than not a suspect in a violent crime or is driving while intoxicated before a pursuit adding that “It seems ridiculous” that going 111 mph on the interstate alone isn’t probable cause to pull someone over.

The wrong-way driver has been identified as Keith Goings, 20, from Springfield, Missouri.

The driver of the car that Going hit and a 5-year-old girl survived the crash.

In the case of Goings, Thorson said there is evidence that points to what he calls the “million dollar question.” Why does someone drive the wrong way?

“After the collision, we sent a drug recognition expert trooper to Memorial Hospital in Yakima to do an evaluation on the causing driver,” Thorson said. “It was determined at that time through an evaluation that drugs or alcohol were suspected.”

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