Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Teresa Simpson
Gazette Reporter 

WSU student arrested for hit and run

19-year-old faces charges for hitting two pedestrians with car


November 17, 2022

COLFAX—Washington State University student, Carmen Fernandez, 19, of Yakima, Wash., was arrested Sunday, Nov. 13 and booked into the Whitman County Jail for hitting fellow students and fleeing the scene Saturday, Nov. 12.

Pullman police responded to a crash at Grove Apartments on Brandi way around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday. Fernandez had been in the car with her sister, and sister’s friend when she struck Kaitlyn Venner, and Hunter Wagner before running into a fire hydrant which ruptured the water line. The WSU Police Department, and Whitman County Sheriff’s office assisted with the investigation.

Fernandez was located by Pullman Police Saturday, and arrested for vehicular assault, and driving under the influence.

“The two people who were hit were treated, and released from Pullman Regional Hospital with no life threatening injuries,” Pullman Police Operations Commander Aaron Breshears said, confirming that Fernandez was arrested for driving under the influence, two counts of vehicular assault, two counts of hit and run with injuries to person, and an account of hit and run for property damage.

During a Friday, Nov. 14 hearing with Superior Court Judge Gary Libey Fernandez’s family spoke on her behalf.

Fernandez’s father Ricardo Fernandez spoke to his daughter’s character, “She is a class valedictorian 4.0 student. Exemplary student at WSU, and involved in a sorority pretty heavily,” Mr. Fernandez said, stating that he had the $1000 cash bail for her to be released the day of the hearing, and that she had zero risk of flight.

“The court is concerned about the sobriety and continued sobriety of Ms. Fernandez,” Libey said, stating that with the bail of $1000 posted Fernandez would also have to wear an ankle monitoring brace to monitor her alcohol or other substance use.

The state recommended that Fernandez have a no contact order with the victims, as well as her sister and friend. Libey did not impose the no contact order on Fernandez sister, due to her living in the same residence.

Libey ordered that Fernandez could not leave the state of Washington pending the filing of charges, and that she will appear in court on Friday, Nov. 18.


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