Police arrest suspected driver in fatal Vancouver hit-and-run
VANCOUVER, Wash. - Police have arrested a man in connection to the hit-and-run that killed two women as they crossed the street in a crosswalk Jan. 19.
According to the Vancouver Police Department, Brandon C. Smith, 27, agreed through his attorney to turn himself in to police. He did so Wednesday at 5 p.m. without incident and was booked into the Clark County Jail on two counts of vehicular homicide, three counts of hit-and-run, one count of vehicular assault and one count of tampering with evidence, police said.
Smith is scheduled to make his first court appearance on charges of felony hit-and-run plus vehicular homicide Thursday at 9 a.m. in Clark County Superior Court.
Just after 8 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 19, Irina Gardinant, 28, and Raisa Mosh, 45 were hit and killed in a crosswalk on Northeast Vancouver Mall Drive and 72nd Avenue by a white pickup truck. Mosh's 12-year-old son suffered minor injuries.
The driver of that truck left the scene.
Through their investigation, police found a white Toyota Tacoma pickup truck at a Vancouver apartment complex that matched the description of the suspect vehicle. They towed it away for evidence processing and identified the registered owner as Brandon C. Smith.
Smith's girlfriend 21-year-old Kalista Jade Andino and his mother, Linda D. Smith, 63, were soon arrested and accused of witness tampering.
Brandon Smith and Kalista Andino have a 5-month-old child. On Tuesday night, police took the child into protective custody.
More arrests are expected in this case. Other people may have tampered with evidence or lied to police, Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said.
Andino was released from jail Wednesday after she posted bail. She refused to answer questions from reporters as she left the jail.
Rossi and Jessica Coyne showed up at the jail in support of the victims. They live in the neighborhood where Mosh and Gardinant were hit. They don't know the suspects or the victims but it's affected them.
"I'm a mother, and I would hate to see my kids have seen me killed right next to them from an uncaring person," said Jessica.
Linda Smith was released from jail Tuesday afternoon after she posted bail that morning. She also declined to answer questions.
Both women face certain conditions of their release. One of the most significant is that they can't have any contact with other people involved in the case.