Prosecutors today charged a 21-year-old “mental and disoriented female” in connection with last week’s accident involving nine cars near Northgate Mall.
Melanie Ann Lind was charged by King County Prosecutors with possession of a stolen vehicle and attempting to elude police, both felonies, according to court documents. She was stopped after crashing on First Avenue Northeast about 4 p.m. on Feb. 15.
Lind was driving a Dodge crew-cab pickup that had been stolen from National Car Rental at the airport about an hour earlier, according to the charging papers. An employee saw a woman with no luggage drive the truck right over the road spikes that are designed to flatten the tires of any vehicle trying to leave through the parking area entrance instead of the exit.
When police spotted the truck at College Way North and Northeast 92nd Street, “both of the front tires on the suspect vehicle were completely flat and had apparently been flat for some time, as smoke was billowing from the front wheel wells,” the documents state.
Turning on their lights and siren, police thought they had stopped the truck at First Avenue Northeast and Northeast 103rd Street, according to the documents, but the driver suddenly sped away at speeds between 60-65 mph, running the red light at Northeast 107th Street.
There the truck slammed into another pickup truck leaving the mall parking lot, bounced and hit three vehicles stopped on Northeast 107th, shoving them into five more cars, the papers state. “It could not travel any further because its front wheels and suspension had broken off,” according to the court documents.
Lind was the only person in the truck and appeared to be on drugs, the court papers state. She and four other drivers were taken to hospitals for treatment.
Her description matched that of a “mental and disoriented female who had been hanging around the airport for the last few days,” according to the court documents, which say Lind also has recent convictions for theft and violation of a court order.