Police Unable to Rescue Driver Trapped in Burning Car in Northeast Washington


Police were unable to rescue a driver trapped in a burning car Friday night, Jan. 6, on Meridian Street, according to Bellingham Police Lt. Claudia Murphy.

The identity of the driver has not been released, pending family notification, Murphy said in an email late Saturday, Jan. 7.

A white Dodge Ram truck did not stop after hitting the rear of a passenger car with such force that it immediately caught fire. "The speed by which the Ram struck the car, pushed the car for an entire block," Murphy said.

Both vehicles were driving south in the 4200 block of Meridian Street at the time of the collision.

"By the time the officers arrived the passenger car was fully engulfed in flames with the driver trapped inside. ... A BPD officer attempted to use the extinguisher, but the fire was too large," she said.

The driver of the truck, later identified as Teofilo Garcia Uribe, 36, sped left onto East Kellogg Road. Whatcom County Sheriff's Office deputies stopped the truck in the 700 block of East Kellogg Road and arrested Uribe.

Uribe was checked out medically and then booked into the Whatcom County Jail on charges of vehicular homicide, hit-and-run accident with death and driving under the influence at the scene. He is being held without bail Sunday, Jan. 8, at Whatcom County Jail, according to the online booking log.