Police: Driver high on marijuana hits, kills pedestrian in Vancouver
VANCOUVER, Wash. - A driver who hit and killed a man in Vancouver Monday night admitted to police that he smoked marijuana before the crash, police said.
Witnesses said the man stepped from a median into traffic before the crash. Police said he was carrying a grocery bag.
The crash happened at 5:50 p.m. near the intersection of Anderson Road and East Mill Plain Boulevard, police said.
The driver, 47-year-old Scotty R. Rowles (pictured at right in a 2007 Multnomah County booking photo for a probation violation), was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence of marijuana. Police said he stayed at the scene after the crash.
The victim has not been identified.
A Rowles family member who spoke with KATU News said Rowles admitted to officers that he smoked pot earlier in the day, but said he was not impaired at the time of the crash.
Washington's new marijuana law states that a if there is 5 or more nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood in the body, a person can be considered impaired.
Vancouver defense attorney Andrew Wheeler is worried about that part of the law.
"There's less known about the absorption of marijuana into a person's system," Wheeler said. "It gives a driver less foreseeability."
Washington State troopers are feeling their way around the state's new law.
"We're looking for impairment," said Trooper Will Finn. "We're looking to get impaired drivers off the road. How impaired is a person with five nanograms of THC in their system? It's hard to say."
Results of Rowles' blood test won't be available for some time.