A police chase on North Whidbey ended with a rare car versus building versus boat collision on May 2, 2020, according to court documents.
Prosecutors charged the alleged driver of the car, 39-year-old Alwyn J. Austria of Oak Harbor, in Island County Superior Court May 5 with attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle and driving under the influence.
At about 10 p.m. on the night of the incident, the Oak Harbor police alerted law enforcement on the island that the driver of a Chevrolet Cavalier had eluded an officer in the city. About 10 minutes later, a deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office spotted the car on West Beach Road.
The deputy chased after the car, lights and sirens activated, but the driver didn’t pull over, the deputy wrote in a report on the incident. The car accelerated to up to 70 mph as the vehicle wandered in the southbound lane.
The driver attempted to turn left on Libbey Road, but the car left the roadway, traveled across a grassy field for about 100 yards and crashed into a building. The car went through the building, struck a “Zodiac type boat” and came to rest against the far wall, the deputy’s report states.
Deputies had trouble communicating with the driver, identified as Austria, who had “a blank look on his face,” the report states.
Firefighters were called to the scene to extricate Austria, whose legs were pinned inside the car.
A deputy found a baggie of suspected methamphetamine in the car, the report states.
Austria was transported to the hospital, where his blood was drawn for testing.
The Washington State Patrol Toxicology Laboratory reported that his blood tested positive for meth.