Man Involved in Two Crashes on U.S. Highway 12 on Saturday Charged With Vehicular Assault


A Tacoma man is facing multiple vehicular assault charges in Lewis County Superior Court after he allegedly caused one crash near Mary’s Corner on U.S. Highway 12 on Saturday and was involved in a second crash near Mossyrock that same day. 

The first crash occurred near milepost 71 on U.S. Highway 12 at about 8:05 a.m. on May 27, according to 911 call logs. 

The responding Washington State Patrol trooper arrived at the scene to find a Dodge Ram truck “with significant damage” abandoned in an eastbound ditch, with a quad by the front of the vehicle in the ditch. The reporting party told the trooper the Dodge Ram was following them, “swerving back and forth onto the shoulder of the road and then back into the lane” and “would speed up close to (the reporting party’s) vehicle, then slow down again, then speed up again,” according to court documents. 

The Ram reportedly crossed the line and hit another vehicle traveling in the other lane, which was stopped about 100 yards away down the road from the abandoned Ram when the trooper arrived. 

Two of the three people in the vehicle hit by the Ram sustained injuries: the driver suffered a broken wrist, and a passenger suffered four fractured ribs and a lower back fracture. 

After the crash, the driver of the Ram, who was later identified as Zachary Ryan Rosenthal, 32, of Tacoma, allegedly got into a Jeep that had stopped to pick him up. 

The Jeep then fled the scene, but was later found wrecked further east on U.S. Highway 12 near Birley Road north of Mossyrock after the vehicle failed to navigate a turn and fell down an embankment, according to court documents. 

The driver of the Jeep was trapped inside the vehicle when officers arrived, while Rosenthal  had allegedly fled on foot. 

A deputy with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office ultimately located Rosenthal, who had injuries to his hand and was taken to a hospital for treatment. 

The driver of the Jeep was also taken to a local hospital for treatment of injuries he sustained in the crash. 

When questioned about the Ram crash, Rosenthal allegedly said “he had been a passenger in the vehicle but that he didn’t know who was driving.” 

The reporting party identified Rosenthal at the hospital as the “man who was the driver and sole occupant of the Ram that caused the collision,” according to court documents. 

Rosenthal was booked into the Lewis County Jail just before 7:35 p.m. on May 27 and has since been charged with two counts of vehicular assault, one count of felony hit-and-run and one count of possession of a stolen vehicle. 

He was additionally charged Tuesday with an unrelated fugitive from justice charge stemming from a $75,000 warrant out of Oregon, where he is accused of burglary and theft. 

Rosenthal has verbally contested the validity of the Oregon warrant. 

Judge J. Andrew Toynbee set Rosenthal’s bail for the Lewis County matter at $100,000 on Tuesday, citing the pending Oregon case as well as Rosenthal’s criminal history in Washington, which includes eight felony convictions within the last five years and an active case in Pacific County he posted $75,000 bail on in April. The allegation that Rosenthal attempted to flee in this case was also a cause of concern, Toynbee said. 

“That all adds up to a need for $100,000 to ensure his further appearance in court,” Toynbee said Tuesday. 

Arraignment is scheduled for Thursday, June 1.