Prosecutors: Suspect in Vancouver hit-and-run has long history o - KPTV - FOX 12

Prosecutors: Suspect in Vancouver hit-and-run has long history of DUI convictions

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A Vancouver woman accused of hitting and killing a homeless man crossing the street over the weekend was in court for the first time for the case Monday.

Jessica Lyn Bankhead was emotional as a judge set her bail and prosecutors reminded the court that she has served jail time for prior DUI convictions and was driving with a suspended license at the time she allegedly hit a homeless man with her car.

Police have identified the victim as 44-year-old Richard Waller. They say he was pushing a shopping cart on Minnehaha Street in Vancouver late Saturday night when he was hit and killed.

Witnesses told investigators the SUV that struck Waller did not slow down or stop.

On Sunday, Chris Ramsay, Bankhead's attorney, called police and Bankhead then turned herself in to authorities. She was charged with felony hit-and-run.

According to court documents, Bankhead was convicted of DUI in Washington in 2004 and 2007, and she was convicted of a DUII in Oregon in 2011.

Ramsay told FOX 12 he did not know whether alcohol was a factor in the crash. He did add, however, that there are other circumstances that might have made it difficult for Bankhead to see Waller.

"My understanding also is this person had dark clothing, and yeah, that road,” Ramsay said. “If you go up that part of the road where this accident occurred, you'll notice that it's thickly wooded on either side and not very well lit because there are no street lights out that way."

Investigators did say alcohol could have been a factor in the crash, though Bankhead does not face DUI charges in connection with the incident.

The judge set Bankhead’s bail at $40,000, and she is due back in court later this week.

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