Man accused of hitting, killing woman has long arrest record - KPTV - FOX 12

Man accused of hitting, killing woman on sidewalk has long arrest record

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Numerous jail booking photos of Matthew Purifoy from previous arrests in Oregon. Numerous jail booking photos of Matthew Purifoy from previous arrests in Oregon.
Matthew Purifoy in court Tuesday. Matthew Purifoy in court Tuesday.
Police discovered Purifoy in a crashed car near the scene of where a 57-year-old woman was hit and killed. Police discovered Purifoy in a crashed car near the scene of where a 57-year-old woman was hit and killed.
57-year-old Anita Walters was hit and killed at Northeast Vancouver Mall Drive and Andresen Road. 57-year-old Anita Walters was hit and killed at Northeast Vancouver Mall Drive and Andresen Road.
VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

A man who crashed his car into a wall after hitting and killing a woman on the sidewalk near Westfield Vancouver Mall claimed he didn't know anyone had been hit and said his cousin was driving the car, according to court documents.

Matthew Purifoy, 33, appeared in court Tuesday morning on the charges of vehicular homicide and hit-and-run resulting in death.

He was arrested Monday after 57-year-old Anita Walters was hit and killed at Northeast Vancouver Mall Drive and Andresen Road.

Police initially received a report about an erratic driver on Interstate 5 northbound in Portland at 11:08 a.m. Monday.

According to court documents, witnesses reported a car traveling "side to side" on the freeway with a driver who appeared to be asleep and "drooling." The car then struck a white pickup on the Glenn Jackson Bridge and kept going, a probable cause affidavit states.

The car, described as a maroon Monte Carlo with Oregon plates, then headed west on SR-500 and took the Andresen Road exit. Court documents state the driver slammed into a street light pole, knocked it to the ground and kept going.

The car turned right on Andresen Road and witnesses said it was traveling 60 mph and swerving back and forth across the road.

A probable cause affidavit states the car then drove toward two people walking on the sidewalk, narrowly missing one and hitting the other.

The driver kept going, court documents state, slowing down only a little before speeding away without stopping.

The victim was identified as Walters, who was serving on a county work release crew and wearing a yellow reflective vest at the time she was hit.

"I cried all night," said friend Lezli Choquette. "Doing the best I can today to help the family and make up their arrangements."

A short time later, police located the suspect's car crashed into a wall on the east side of Andresen Road near 58th Street. According to court documents, Purifoy was in the driver's seat, with a seat belt on, and was the only person in the car.

Police said the car was still running and the wheels were spinning. An officer yelled at the driver to turn the car off, but Purifoy responded by saying, "What do you want?" according to a probable cause affidavit.

The affidavit states Purifoy appeared "intoxicated or high" and had "spittle on his lips." The suspect struggled with police as he was placed in custody and asked, "What's going on?" before stating he was "trying to figure his classes out" and said something about textbooks, according to court documents.

Purifoy was taken to the hospital and a search warrant was obtained for a sample of his blood. Investigators said Purifoy did not admit to driving the car or hitting Walters. Court documents state he claimed to be unaware she had been hit and killed and, at one point, told police his cousin was driving the car.

Purifoy was booked in the Clark County Jail and his bail is set at $500,000.

He has a lengthy criminal history, including reckless driving and DUI in Washington, and various convictions in Oregon for crimes including possession of a controlled substance and ID theft.

He is due back in court Dec. 19.

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