Police: Suspected drunk driver hits four people, killing one

by: Maria Guerrero Updated:

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. - A Bellingham man is accused of going on a drunk driving rampage.

Police say 27-year-old Dustin Brown mowed down four people, killing one, and only stopped after bystanders swarmed his truck.

The crash happened early Monday morning, around 1:45 a.m., near the intersection of North State Street and East Chestnut Street in downtown Bellingham.

Dragan Skrobonja, 37, was hit and killed. A friend says he was well-known and well-liked in Bellingham and Seattle.  

He told KIRO 7 Skrobonja and his family were immigrants who moved to Washington state to escape the Croatian War.

Skrobonja went to school in Seattle. His parents live in Bellingham. He’d go back and forth between the cities.

In downtown Bellingham, orange markings lay out the destructive path the driver took just as bars started to let out.

Bellingham police say Dustin Brown got into his heavy-duty truck and laid on the gas, losing control, hitting three pedestrians as they walked by The Color Pot store.

Brown is accused of also hitting and killing Skrobonja , who was walking on the other side of the sidewalk.

According to police, Brown barreled through another parking lot and only stopped after crashing into a metal railing with a 10-foot drop.

Pedestrians then swarmed his truck, grabbing him while police got to the scene.

“I think in this situation, that was a good thing to do was to grab him,” said Lt. Bob Vander Yacht of the Bellingham Police Department. “When they detained him there was a heavy odor of intoxicants." 

KIRO 7 talked to Nick Caluori just as he was finding out his vehicle was one of several hit.

“I chose to park my car last night because I didn't want to drive back home because I was drinking. Clearly someone else felt like they could drive after drinking," he said.

More charges are likely coming against Brown, who moved to Bellingham from the East Coast.

“He hit a number of vehicles and he hit one vehicle that was occupied  by people," said Vander Yacht.

Before driving back to Seattle, Caluori checked the damage done to his SUV and put his loss into perspective.

"Really nothing; compared to someone losing their life, I lost nothing," said Caluori.

Dustin Brown is in jail and faces vehicular homicide and assault charges.

The three other people hit, 26- and 27-year-olds, were taken to the hospital.

A spokesperson for the hospital says it looks like they have all been treated and released.

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