Driver runs red light in Richland, seriously hurting motorcyclist, say prosecutors

An accused Richland hit-and-run driver ran a red light in a busy intersection a week ago, severely hurting a motorcyclist, say investigators.

But Brock M. Brown, 44, told police he barely remembers the wreck and didn’t recall speeding away from it before he returned to the crash scene about 20 minutes later.

Brown pleaded innocent on Thursday to charges of vehicular assault and hit-and-run in Benton County Superior Court.

He posted a $5,000 bond and was released from jail.

Brown was behind the wheel of a black Pontiac Grand Prix on June 13 when he allegedly ran a red light on Duportail Street at the Queensgate Intersection, according to court documents.

He slammed into a motorcycle taking a left from Queensgate Drive. The rider hit the windshield of the Pontiac before hitting another car, said investigators.

He suffered a broken left ankle and toe, and he later told investigators his toe was going to be amputated.

Richland police released no information about the collision so the time of the crash is unclear.

Return to the scene

Seconds after the crash, traffic camera footage shows the Pontiac slowly pull away from the scene, court documents said.

The driver then sped up and nearly T-boned a pickup leaving the Richland Tire Factory.

Another driver followed the Pontiac and called 911. The driver said they weren’t able to keep up with the Pontiac because he was allegedly going 65 mph on the Duportail Bridge and ran a red light at the intersection of Highway 240.

Investigators found the Pontiac’s license plate at the crash scene and the plate was registered to Brown, according to court documents.

About 20 minutes after the collision, Brown returned and told investigators he had just left Walmart after picking up his prescription and “recalled being in a collision,” said court documents.

He couldn’t explain why he left but said he made it home before returning.

Brown explained to another officer that he didn’t remember what happened between the crash and getting home, however, his brother told him that he needed to go back.

An officer trained to determine if someone is drunk or high said Brown didn’t show signs of being impaired.

An officer also noted that Brown never asked about the condition of the motorcyclist in the hours following the collision.

“Based on my training and experience, many drivers want to know the extent of injuries of another party when involved with a crash,” according to a quote from the officer’s report included in the court documents.

“It appeared to me that Brock was indifferent to what occurred to the other driver and rider,” he wrote.