Tumwater vehicular assault suspect was allegedly high on meth

Staff writerJuly 1, 2013 

A 59-year-old Tumwater man with an extensive criminal record was ordered held in jail on suspicion of vehicular assault Monday after crashing his pickup into a motorcycle on Capitol Boulevard Friday.

The suspect was allegedly high on methamphetamine when he crashed his pickup, court papers state. Richard Dilberg was ordered held at the Thurston County Jail with bail set at $35,000 during his court hearing.

The crash seriously injured the motorcycle driver and its female passenger, court papers state. The motorcycle driver suffered neck and chest injuries, including broken ribs. The passenger suffered a compound leg fracture, "with the bone visible outside the skin," facial injuries and a broken arm.

The woman riding on the motorcycle had to be airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after the collision.

"We're very fortunate that no one died," Thurston County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Christy Peters said during Dilberg's Monday court hearing.

Dilberg's red pickup was attempting to make a left turn onto Israel Road about 4:30 p.m. Friday when it crossed Capitol Boulevard against the traffic signal and drove into oncoming traffic, Tumwater Police Detective Jen Kolb said.

According to court papers:

A Tumwater police officer arrested Dilberg at the nearby 7-11, where he exhibited signs of intoxication. The officer learned Dilberg had dug a hole in some flowerbeds outside the 7-11 and buried something there. The officer found a marijuana cigarette in the flowerbed.

Dilberg did not suffer serious injuries, but had a blood draw at Providence St. Peter Hospital to test for impairment. He admitted he had smoked marijuana and methamphetamine about an hour prior to the collision.

Dilberg was being held Monday on suspicion of two counts of vehicular assault, unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of methamphetamine.

He has prior arrests for auto theft, possession of stolen property, shoplifting, a prior hit and run, driving under the influence, theft, aggravated assault, and other crimes.

Said Peters during Monday's court hearing: "He's been committing felonies in this state since 1975."

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 jpawloski@theolympian.com

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