Highlights from the weekly report (December 8) from City of Lakewood Manager, Andrew Neiditz to the Mayor and Council Members:
- American Lake Gardens/Tillicum Sewer Grant: On December 8th, US Ass’t Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Sandy K. Baruah announced a grant award of $1,500,000 to the City of Lakewood and Pierce County for the City’s American Lake Gardens/Tillicum sewer project. Secretary Baruah’s announcement included presentation of the symbolic check, which was accepted by Deputy Mayor Arbeeny, County Councilman Dick Muir, County Public Works Director Brian Ziegler, REDAB members Linn Larsen, Dan Durr and Jim Charboneau, and City Public Works Director Don Wickstrom. Joshua Johnston also attended, representing Rep. Norm Dicks.
- NLC Congress of Cities: The mayor and city manager participated this week in the National League of Cities’ annual conference in Reno with over 3,500 attendees from cities across the nation. A central theme of the conference was “Inclusive Communities” and there were reports from several cities on their efforts to bring together members of their respective communities.
- Continuing Legal Education Seminar: On Saturday, December 2nd, City Attorney Heidi Wachter facilitated a Continuing Legal Education Seminar (CLE) sponsored by the Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association. The CLE covered a variety of different topics with presentations made by local attorneys and judges.
- DUI Case Dismissal: Associate City Attorney Rocio Guerra successfully appealed the dismissal of a DUI case. The trial court ruled that the officer’s observation of weaving on a public roadway was insufficient to justify a traffic stop and dismissed the case. The Superior Court and the Court of Appeals reversed the ruling and remanded the case back to the Municipal Court.
- Lakewood Police Drug Dog in Action: Officer Jeremy Prater and “Duke” recovered nearly 10 grams of crystal methamphetamine on a routine search incident to result in an arrest following a traffic stop.
- Fatal Accident: On December 7th, at 0613 hrs., Officer Latimer and Officer Knott were flagged down by a citizen regarding a hit and run that had just occurred. Officer Knott located the suspect vehicle at 72nd St. and I-5. Officer Knott initiated a traffic stop on the northbound on ramp to I-5 from 72nd St. The suspect slowed but never pulled over. As they continued on to the freeway, Officer Knott notified dispatch that the suspect was failing to yield. A few seconds later, he called out in pursuit. A few seconds after that, Officer Knott called out that the suspect vehicle had crashed. Moments later, he updated that the suspect had been ejected from the vehicle. Apparently, the suspect swerved across all lanes of traffic and hit the cement barrier/divider of the northbound and southbound lanes of traffic. After the suspect was ejected, the vehicle continued down the barrier/divider for approximately 300 feet before coming to a stop. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. No other people were injured or involved in the accident. I-5 was shut down for several hours and LPD and WSP are doing a joint investigation of the accident.