Sequim man arrested for investigation of hit-and-run, vehicular assault

A crash in a Port Angeles Safeway parking lot last week that left a trail of debris resulted in the arrest of a 23-year-old man who had bail of $20,000 set at his first Superior Court appearance on March 20.

Brian Alexander Powless, 23, of Sequim was arrested late in the afternoon on March 19 and was held in the Clallam County jail on charges of vehicular assault and hit-and-run injury accident, both of which are felonies, and reckless driving, a gross misdemeanor.

His arraignment is set for 9 a.m. Friday, March 29.

An adult passenger who was in the 2002 Kia Sedona minivan fractured her wrist and was not hospitalized, said Brian King, Clallam County Sheriff’s Office chief criminal deputy. Her companion, a male passenger, was not seriously injured, King said.

Deputies investigated a wreck report on the incident at 3:35 a.m. on March 18 near the intersection of US Highway 101 and North Brook Street near Safeway, according to the probable cause statement.

Debris started 300 feet east of Safeway, the vehicle crossed over the landscape embankment, into a gas station driveway, across North Brook Avenue and US Highway 101 and into a field on the northeast corner of the intersection about 150 feet in, where the vehicle stopped, according to the probable cause statement.

Several concrete and steel posts were damaged, and the vehicle carried a sheared-off tree top from near where the minivan left the roadway to North Brook Avenue.

The male passenger said the couple ran out of gas and that Powless picked them up to drive them to a gas station, according to the probable cause statement.

The passengers told a deputy that Powless had been inhaling fumes from an aerosol paint can or “huffing,” shortly before the mishap, according to the probable cause statement.

Powless passed out after breathing in vapors from the aerosol can, they said.

The female passenger said she grabbed the wheel to keep Powless from hitting the gas station’s gas pumps and that her companion put the van in neutral to slow it down.

The male said once the vehicle stopped, and when Powless woke up, he told them he would call the police and walked away, limping.

Sequim police officers arrested Powless at about 5 p.m. on March 19 in the 2500 block of West Sequim Bay Road during a traffic stop, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Powless, a passenger, was transported to Olympic Medical Center for treatment of unspecified injuries before he was booked into the Clallam County jail.