A Puyallup driver was arrested Thursday on suspicion of assault and vehicular assault charges after he allegedly caused a two-car accident on Interstate 5 while drunk, then physically assaulted a police officer and two other people at the scene of the accident.
Casey M. Specht, 36, of Puyallup, made his first appearance in Lewis County Superior Court at 4 p.m. Friday.
Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Nelson asked Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt to hold Specht on no bail until the prosecutor’s office files unspecified charges Monday.
“There are up to four different victims. At least two have very serious injuries,” Nelson said. “We don’t know the extent of those injuries yet, which is why we haven’t filed charges.”
The prosecutor’s office has 72 hours, excluding holidays and weekends, from the time a person is arrested until they must be formally charged.
Hunt granted Specht $50,000 bail.
“The reason for that is this is a pretty serious case,” he said.
Hunt cited the number of people hurt, the presence of alcohol, “and apparently a temper problem,” on Specht’s part in his decision.
According to the Washington State Patrol, at 7:12 a.m. Thursday, Specht was driving a 2012 Chrysler 300 southbound in the left lane of I-5 at milepost 68, 7 miles south of Chehalis.
Specht’s vehicle hit the rear end of a second vehicle, a 2012 Ford F-350 truck.
The truck, driven by Jaymee J. McMeekin, 60, of Aberdeen, then crossed the right lane and the shoulder, went off the road and struck a tree.
McMeekin was injured and transported to Providence Centralia Hospital. Two passengers of the truck were also injured. Passenger William A. Boley, 27, of Elma, was transported by helicopter to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver and Jason C. McMeekin, 30, of Elma, was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the State Patrol.
Specht was not injured, but his vehicle was badly damaged.
The accident was caused by speeding, according to the State Patrol. Both vehicles were traveling at about 70 miles per hour, according to a declaration of probable cause filed with the court Friday.
According to the declaration, troopers arrived at the scene and contacted the three occupants of the Ford, one of whom reported Specht had punched him and a “good Samaritan” at the scene.
The trooper contacted Specht, who allegedly refused to get out of his vehicle. Specht reportedly struck the trooper’s arm, then jumped across the car’s center console into the passenger seat, throwing items including a cell phone charger, a lighter and a book at the trooper.
The trooper asked Specht to step out of the vehicle again, then deployed his Taser and struck Specht, who was taken into custody.
Breathalyzer results showed Specht’s blood-alcohol level to be 0.096.
Specht has prior convictions for hit and run unattended and reckless driving, which was originally charged as a DUI both from 2015, according to the declaration.
Specht is due back in court at 4 p.m. Monday.