News

Man charged with vehicular assault

Prosecutors on Tuesday charged a 25-year-old Bonney Lake man with vehicular assault for allegedly striking and critically injuring an Auburn woman July 19 as she stood alongside her car at 901 1st NE near her home.

Samuel Cruz will be arraigned Aug. 6.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the victim, Stacey Ankerfelt, 28, is making progress in her recovery.

According to police, shortly before 6 p.m. that day, Ankerfelt, 28, had walked around to the street side of her car when Cruz, southbound on J Street Southeast, struck her, then continued into a car parked in front of her vehicle.

Witnesses said the impact threw Ankerfelt at least 30 feet. According to the Valley Regional Fire Authority, firefighters found her on the road, unconscious and with life-threatening injuries.

Medics rushed her to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with multiple skull fractures, a cerebral hemorrhage, and broken ribs.

Ankerfelt teaches fifth grade at Kent's Scenic Hill Elementary School.

Cruz, police say, stopped and waited for police, fire, and medics to arrive. Police arrested him.

Investigators who spoke to Cruz noticed that he seemed to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol because he was struggling to walk and keep his balance when they took him to hospital for a mandatory blood draw.

According to police, Cruz told investigators he takes a drug called Suboxone for opiate dependency.

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