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February 21, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Woman charged in 9-vehicle crash near Northgate

King County prosecutors today charged a 21-year-old woman with attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle and possession of a stolen vehicle in connection with last week’s 9-car pileup in Seattle’s Northgate neighborhood.

Melanie Ann Lind, who has been held in the King County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail since her arrest last Wednesday, is to be arraigned March 5.

Lind was allegedly driving a blue Dodge Ram pickup that had been stolen from a Sea-Tac Airport car-rental company, according to charging documents. About an hour before the multi-vehicle collision in Seattle, an employee with National Car Rental saw a suspicious woman get into a blue pickup on the second floor of the parking garage at the airport and exit through the entrance. In the process, the woman drove over road spikes, puncturing the tires on the pickup, charging papers say.

The woman’s description matched that of a “disoriented female who had been hanging around the airport for the last few days,” the papers say.

Just before 4 p.m. on Wednesday, two Seattle police officers were driving a marked police van when they saw the pickup pass by and noticed both front tires were flat, and were beginning to smoke and shred, charging papers say.

The officers began to follow the pickup, the papers say. After Lind allegedly ran a red light, the officers backed off.

The pickup, which by now was being driven on its rims, accelerated to 60 mph and collided with another truck at 1st Avenue Northeast and Northeast 107th Street, charging papers say. The pickup then careened head-on into northbound traffic, striking several cars and causing others to pile up, the papers say.

The officers pulled Lind from the crumpled cab of the pickup and observed “that she appeared to be under the influence of unknown drugs,” according to charging papers.

Lind and three other drivers were taken to Harborview Medical Center and a fifth driver was taken to a different hospital. None appear to have suffered injuries serious enough to meet the criteria for Lind to be charged with vehicular assault, the papers say.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: attempting to elude police, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, police pursuit

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