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Driver charged with vehicular assault

A 23-year-old Oak Harbor man has been charged with a felony in connection with a May 29 accident on North Whidbey that left a motorcyclist with a broken back, according to court documents.

Prosecutors charged Justin Holeman in Island County Superior Court Aug. 25 with vehicular assault.

Detective Scott Witman with the Washington State Patrol investigated the accident at the intersection of Arnold Road and Riepma Avenue.

Witman wrote that Holeman was driving a 1988 Honda Accord northward on Riepma Avenue at about 4 p.m. when his cell phone rang and distracted him. Holeman reportedly failed to stop at the intersection with Arnold Road and struck a 1998 Harley Davidson motorcycle that Troy Nelson was driving on Arnold Road.

Nelson was seriously injured and taken to Whidbey General Hospital. Later, the troopers learned that he “had suffered compression fractures to his back from the collision,” the detective wrote.

Holeman admitted that he smoked a bowl of marijuana several hours before the accident, Witman wrote. The results of a blood test were negative for alcohol, but showed that “Holeman had recently ingested marijuana,” the report states.

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