Police talk to witnesses after two Chief Sealth International High School teenagers were struck by a hit and run driver on Nov. 28 in West Seattle near the school. King County Prosecutors have charged a 37-year-old West Seattle woman in the incident.
UPDATE: West Seattle woman pleads not guilty after allegedly running down Chief Sealth students in hit and run
Update for Dec. 17
37-year-old West Seattle resident Amy Lynn O'Brien pleaded not guilty to two charges of assault and one charge of felony hit and run on the morning of Dec. 17, according to the King County Prosecutor's Office.
Here is the full announcement:
Arraignment in Hit and Run/Car Attack: Amy Lynn O’Brien was arraigned this morning and pleaded not guilty to assault charges for allegedly running down two teens following an altercation outside Chief Sealth High School in West Seattle on November 28. O'Brien, 37, is charged with two counts of Assault Second Degree and one count of Felony Hit and Run. Earlier this month, prosecutors had requested that the defendant be held on $250,000 bail; however, the Court struck the bail and released the defendant on a summons to appear in court. A case setting hearing is scheduled for January 17.
Original story on Dec. 5
West Seattle woman charged after allegedly running down Chief Sealth students in hit and run
Witnesses told police on Nov. 28 they saw a woman in a small black vehicle accelerate to an estimated 40 miles per hour towards two West Seattle teenagers, driving her 2,000 pound vehicle directly into the victims and sending them into the air before they came down hard on concrete and were knocked unconscious.
On Dec. 4, King County Prosecutor’s charged 37-year-old West Seattle resident Amy Lynn O’Brien with two counts of second degree assault and one count of felony hit and run, alleging she was the woman behind the wheel, intent on causing harm after an altercation with the victims moments earlier over the treatment of her dog.
The following information is a summary of charging documents released in the case:
Writing to the court, a Seattle Police detective explained that a group of female friends were walking back to Chief Sealth around 10 a.m. after visiting Westwood Village, a nearby shopping center, when they were approached by two loose dogs on the 8600 block of 26th Ave S.W. One of the eventual hit and run victims later told police one of the dogs jumped up on her, so she shoved it away. The dog responded by wagging its tail, indicating to her that it was actually just being playful.
The dogs belonged to defendant O’Brien, and witnesses said she came after the girls, yelling at them for “hitting” her dog. On of the girls said she tried to explain what had happened and apologized, but O’Brien allegedly struck her in the chest. The girl hit O’Brien back and a fight erupted. O’Brien then stopped fighting and called police to report an assault.
As police headed to the scene the girls took off, cutting through yards eastbound towards 25th Ave S.W. As they neared S.W. Thistle St., the girls said a small black Honda drove up and O’Brien stepped out armed with an electroshock weapon commonly known as a taser.
The girls told police they were able to evade O’Brien as she chased after them, running back the way they came towards 26th. Walking down the street, one of the victims said she saw the Honda tear around the corner at a high rate of speed, accelerating straight towards them. She attempted to push her friend out of the way (the one who had gotten into a physical altercation with O’Brien), but it was too late.
O’Brien allegedly ran into two of the girls, 17 and 18, and then fled the scene. She eventually turned herself in at the Seattle Police South Precinct on Nov. 29. She called and told police she would turn herself in to the West Seattle precinct the day of the incident, but never showed up, opting instead to contact a King 5 reporter to tell her side of the story. While she bailed on that camera interview at the last minute, King 5 reported O’Brien told them over the phone that her car was being surrounded by the girls, forcing her to drive into them.
The next thing either one of victims remembered was waking up at Harborview Medical Center. The girl who attempted to push her friend to safety suffered multiple scrapes, bruises and a serious laceration to her head. Doctors confirmed she had been knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion. Detectives showed her a photo montage of possible suspects and the victim identified O’Brien as the driver.
Detectives met with the other victim who was in a neck brace, suffered severe road rash, and had part of her left ear torn away. The last thing she remembered from the incident was seeing a black car out of the corner of her eye. She also identified O’Brien in a photo montage.
O’Brien, who has no known criminal history, was issued bail in the amount of $250,000, but prosecutors said she was released from jail on Dec. 4 on personal recognizance.
Her arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 17, 8:30 a.m., at the King County Courthouse.
Breaking Herald coverage of this incident can be found here.