A drunk driving suspect who allegedly killed a 27-year-old man in a high-speed car crash in Washington state fled to China before police could arrest her.
The suspect, Ting Ye, who is a Chinese national, allegedly was driving at more than 100mph (161 kph) when crashed her car on 30 September. Her passenger, Yabao Liu, was killed when the car skidded off the road and flipped near Bellevue, Washington.
“Based on the skid marks and evidence left at the scene the car was going well in excess of 100 miles an hour,” Bellevue Police Department's Public Information Officer Seth Tyler told local broadcaster WPDE ABC15. “The vehicle hit the barrier there and was actually thrown into the air and hit the side of that bridge where it came to rest.”
The crash occurred around 3.45am but first responders were not called to the scene until 45 minutes later when a passerby noticed the wreckage.
Both Ms Ye and Mr Liu had to be pulled from the damaged vehicle. Mr Liu was pronounced dead at the scene.
A first responder was cited in a court document as having said they "smelled the strong odour of alcohol coming from Ye."
She was transported to Harborview Medical Center, but allegedly refused to cooperate with investigators, according to police. The officers said they weren't told Ms Ye had been discharged from the hospital until after she had fled to Canada. Officers were still working on charging documents at the time.
"We were not notified by hospital personnel, my understanding is that she was not going to be released anytime soon due to her injuries, and so we were under the assumption she was going to remain at the hospital for some time,” Mr Tyler said.
Police believe Ms Ye had someone drive her to Vancouver, where she caught a flight back to China. Law enforcement officers are reportedly considering bringing charges against the individual who helped her reach Vancouver.
"The warrant was not yet in the system, she was at that point not prohibited from leaving the country, and so there was a delay, unfortunately,” Officer Tyler said. “The warrant wasn’t issued until a couple of days later, and then at that point, she had a court appearance that was scheduled last Tuesday that she did fail to appear for.”
Both Mr Liu and Ms Ye were in Washington for work, according to court documents. She has now been charged with vehicular homicide in Mr Liu's death. Her bail is set at $2m.
“We just want to make it clear to Ms Ye that she is wanted for vehicular homicide, we need her to come back to speak with us,” Officer Tyler said, “She has a warrant in the system if she ever tries to enter the United States, she’s going to be immediately arrested. We need her to just come back, take care of this, so the family of the victim can move on.”
The Chinese government does not have an extradition agreement with the US.