Second charge of vehicular assault coming for ‘joy ride’ driver

Posted 10/28/22

The legal troubles for a former Port Hadlock man are growing as authorities are now indicating they will seek a second felony charge of vehicular assault for a “joy riding” crash in …

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Second charge of vehicular assault coming for ‘joy ride’ driver

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The legal troubles for a former Port Hadlock man are growing as authorities are now indicating they will seek a second felony charge of vehicular assault for a “joy riding” crash in February that sent one passenger to Harborview Medical Center.

In a hearing Friday in Jefferson County Superior Court, prosecutors said a second charge would be filed against Dane Josef Deming, 21.

Attempts to resolve the case through a plea agreement have proven unfruitful in the seven months since the wreck. 

The trial, once planned for July, was again pushed back Friday for Dec. 5.

Deming, a 2020 graduate of Port Angeles High School, was arrested the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 26 after a witness called 911 to report the crash.

Authorities allege that Deming was under the influence at the time he was arrested the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 26 when his Ford F-150 pickup truck went off the road.

The witness told the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office he saw the Ford go off the road and Deming crawl out of it after the pickup rolled over on its side.

Two passengers, both females, were hurt and one had serious injuries that sent her to Harborview with a broken hip.

When questioned by police, Deming said he had been driving and displayed signs of impairment, according to the statement of probable cause for his arrest.

Unsteady on his feet, with bloodshot and watery eyes and slurred speech, Deming said he’d had just one White Claw (a seltzer beverage that contains alcohol), earlier that night.

Deming, who was 20 at the time of his arrest, was given an initial breath test that had a reading of .073; and two later samples taken at the county jail had readings of .067 and .065. He was booked into jail for driving under the age of 21 after consuming alcohol.

Deming earlier entered a pleading of not guilty for vehicular assault at his arraignment in February, where prosecutors labeled his driving the night of the crash as “joy riding” and noted Deming’s prior incidents of distracted driving in July 2021 and a second-degree negligent driving incident from March 2020.

During his court appearance Friday, Deputy Prosecutor Melissa Pleimann noted the inability to resolve the case and the impact that conviction of both counts of vehicular assault could mean for Deming.

“He’s not looking at local time; he’s looking at prison,” she said.

Deming agreed to waive his right for a speedy trial so his trial could be rescheduled.

Superior Court Judge Keith Harper then set the pretrial hearing for Nov. 18.

Deming will be arraigned on the second charge of vehicular assault Nov. 4.

Conviction of a single count of vehicular assault can result in a maximum prison sentence of
10 years and a $20,000 fine.

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