Lewis County Watch

A suspected DUI hit and run on state Route 161 near milepost 11 in Pierce County sent the suspect, a Morton woman and two children to the hospital while a 31-year-old man reportedly not responsible for the incident fled the scene, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The state patrol has labeled the collision as a DUI hit and run, though the man who is allegedly responsible for the crash never left the scene, said Trooper Ryan Burke, public information officer for Pierce County.

Torck S. Christensen, 58, of Eatonville, was arrested by the state patrol on suspicion of vehicular assault. Christensen is accused of driving under the influence.

“It’s basically a DUI involving substantial bodily injury,” Burke said.

According to the state patrol, at about 6:14 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 11, Christensen was driving southbound on state Route 161 near Webster Road and attempted to pass a car using the northbound lane. 

Christensen’s vehicle, listed as a 1994 Chevrolet truck, hit a vehicle in the northbound lane, listed by the state patrol as a 1997 Ford Mustang. 

The driver of the Mustang, Brain W. Watkins, 31, reportedly fled the scene on foot before law enforcement arrived, and is wanted on warrants. The passengers of the Mustang, listed as a 22-year-old Morton woman and two children, ages 3 and 8 months old, were injured.

The “substantial bodily injury” was sustained by the Morton woman, who had multiple breaks to her leg, Burke said. The state patrol noted that she was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision.

Christensen was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, the Morton woman was taken to Tacoma General Hospital and the two children were taken to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma.

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