STATE: Hitting a corpse could become illegal

A bill that would make it illegal for a driver to hit a corpse and then leave the scene is heading to Gov. Gary Locke.

The measure, which was inspired by the death of a Sequim teenager, received unanimous Senate approval late Monday.

In 1997, Ryan Jarmuth was run over by a second vehicle after he was hit and killed by a car. His mother, Jacqueline Russell, lobbied to have the change put into law.

“I”m very pleased to see that people will not be treated as roadkill,” Russell said. “I’m very pleased to see no other family will go through what we went through.”

Jarmuth was riding his bike on a road near Sequim when he was hit and killed by a car.

Shortly after Jarmuth was hit and killed, Charzette Jane Wagner, then 53, was driving down the same road.

Bystanders at the scene tried to flag her down. But Wagner didn’t stop, and her car ran over Jarmuth’s dead body.

For the complete story see Wednesday’s Peninsula Daily News, on sale in Clallam and Jefferson counties.

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