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Fall from truck leads to charges

A 22-year-old Oak Harbor man is facing felony charges for allegedly driving drunk while letting his friend ride on top of his truck, which led to the friend’s serious head injury from falling off.

William E. Rowd on Feb. 6 was charged with hit and run injury accident, vehicular assault and driving under the influence.

According to the case report by Oak Harbor Officer Steven May, he responded to a report of a truck speeding through the area of SW Harrier Circle on Feb 2. The caller said a man riding on top of the truck cab was screaming.

May arrived in the area to find Rowd standing over a man lying on his back in a yard. The injured man had “road rash” on his hand and stomach and a pool of blood under his head.

The man was transported to Whidbey General Hospital and airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he underwent surgery on his head.

According to May’s report, Rowd admitted that he had been driving around SW Harrier Circle while his friend was lying on top of the truck cab with his feet on the tool box. After his friend fell off, Rowd said he drove home to get his wife and took six shots of Chivas Regal whiskey.

Rowd said his wife called 911 and they went back together to where his friend was lying. Rowd claimed he had not been drinking before the accident, the report states.

In court Feb. 8, Rowd’s attorney, Charles Arndt of Coupeville, asked that the no contact condition of Rowd’s release be lifted so that Rowd can visit his friend in Harborview Medical Center. The victim’s mother said that he is lonely and needs support from his friend. Judge Vickie Churchill denied the motion.

If convicted of the hit and run charge, which is the most serious offense he’s facing, Rowd would face between a year and a month and a year and five months in prison.

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