Court docs: Vancouver hit-and-run driver was texting during crash

Court docs: Vancouver hit-and-run driver was texting during crash
Jessica B. Van Wechel made her first court appearance Thursday after her arrest in a fatal hit-and-run crash in Vancouver in 2013. (Photo by Paul Suarez, The Columbian)

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Police believe a hit-and-run driver was texting when she ran down a 65-year-old man using a walker in a Vancouver crosswalk.

The crash last October fatally injured Stephen Dewey of Vancouver. Police said Dewey was walking accross Southeast Mill Plain Boulevard at 105th Avenue when he was hit.

Dewey died at the hospital.

The suspected driver, 30-year-old Jessica B. VanWechel of Camas was arrested Wednesday night in Camas.

KATU news partner The Columbian reports that court papers say she confided to a friend she was looking down at a text message when her vehicle hit Dewey. He died about a week later.

VanWechel appeared in Clark County Superior Court Thursday and the judge found probable cause to hold her for hit-and-run and vehicular homicide charges. Bail is set at $75,000. Arraignment is scheduled for March 13.

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Information from: The Columbian