Spokane police Officer Teresa Fuller rewards crash victim Danika Packard with a free ice cream coupon for wearing her bicycle helmet. (SPD photo)
A former Gonzaga Law School student pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a hit-and-run crash that police say could have killed a 2-year-old girl had she not been wearing a helmet.
Timmy Ngoc Nguyen, 22, is out of jail awaiting trial for charges of vehicular assault and hit and run.
Nguyen is accused of driving his 2003 Honda Element drunk and striking a family riding bicycles on East Maringo Drive.
He was taken to a hospital to get a blood sample and was unresponsive, but staff told deputies they believed “Nguyen had been faking his unresponsiveness,” according to court documents.
“Security had to hold him down to re-secure his restraints,” according to court documents. “Nguyen lunged toward security with his head and tried to bite them. Nguyen was very belligerent, uncooperative, and hostile towards everyone at the hospital.
Witnesses said Nguyen turned westbound onto Maringo from North Argonne Road but entered the eastbound lanes and hit a bicycle trailer carrying Danika Packard.
A witness followed Nguyen back to the Pasadena apartment complex at East Wellesley Avenue and North Pasadena Lane, where he was arrested. Nguyen was at a party there before he left in his Honda and struck the family, police say.
Deputies say Nguyen vomited in the back of the patrol car and appeared extremely intoxicated. He refused to talk to police about what happened but repeatedly asked if he was arrested and told them he was a law student, according to court documents. ”
Nguyen asked sheriff's Deputy Nathan Bohanek if he was going home after they left the hospital. Bohanek said no.
“He told Nguyen he ran over a 2-year-old kid and could have killed them,” documents say. “Nguyen was not responsive to that.”
Police seized Nguyen's Honda and noticed damage consistent with the crash.
Nguyen had been interning for Spokane lawyer Mark Vovos.
Nguyen's trial was scheduled Tuesday for Oct. 22, but that is likely to be postponed.