Port Angeles woman sentenced after police pursuit, hit-and-run

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles woman has been sentenced to one year in prison after a police pursuit with a hit-and-run in 2018.

Larissa J. Garrison, 22, was convicted by a Clallam County jury on single counts of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, hit-and-run of an attended vehicle and hit-and-run with injury.

She was sentenced in Clallam County Superior Court on Tuesday.

The attempting to elude charge contained a sentencing enhancement for endangering the public, police said. The one-year prison sentence was on the low end of the standard sentencing range.

“The enhancement is something that the jury agreed on because Ms. Garrison put the public in danger with her actions,” said Port Angeles Deputy Chief Jason Viada, a victim of the hit-and-run, in a Wednesday interview.

Superior Court Judge Brent Basden imposed the sentence as recommended by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sarah Woolman.

Police said Garrison fled from the Port Angeles Library parking lot in a Volkswagen Jetta during a welfare check on March 1, 2018.

Officer Jeffrey Thaxton said Garrison was traveling close to 40 mph when the officer performed a pursuit intervention technique, or PIT, maneuver on South Chase Street, stopping Garrison’s car.

A man fled on foot as Garrison drove away, police said.

“The suspect continued to make very quick maneuvers by constantly turning on different roads and even alleys,” Thaxton wrote in the affidavit for probable cause.

Investigators said Garrison collided with Viada’s unmarked police vehicle in an alley before continuing west on U.S. Highway 101, reaching speeds of about 90 mph.

Sgt. Kori Malone said Garrison veered into oncoming traffic and nearly collided with passing vehicles.

The pursuit was discontinued because of Garrison’s erratic driving, Thaxton said.

Viada said the pursuit occurred in the late afternoon.

A U.S. Border Patrol agent found Garrison in the woods off Lower Elwha Road after the pursuit. She was arrested without further incident.

When asked why she fled, Garrison replied, “I don’t know,” court papers said.

Viada said in court papers that he suffered a sore neck from the collision.

Garrison was convicted after a three-day jury trial.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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