TACOMA, Wash. - A mother of six children involved in a crash after a police chase in Tacoma showed up in court Tuesday as the man accused of hitting her faced charges of robbery, eluding police, assault and hit-and-run.
Sorina Hoefgen told KIRO 7 she and her children were singing as they rode in the family’s SUV when a stolen van slammed into them Friday, sending the vehicle spinning out of control and causing it to roll several times.
Tacoma police said 45-year-old Erick Bryan had just stolen the van from a real estate office at gunpoint after walking into the office and asking about taking some aluminum cans from a recycling bin.
Police tracked the van to South 38th Street near Yakima, where officers said Bryan slammed into the SUV driven by Hoefgen.
“We just started flipping and the kids were screaming. I couldn’t find any of my kids,” said Hoefgen.
Police said Bryan ran from the scene but was eventually captured by officers.
“It just seems like he doesn’t care,” Hoefgen said when she saw Bryan in court during his arraignment.
Bryan pleaded not guilty to all counts and was ordered held on $1 million bail.
Most of her children weren’t hurt in the crash, but Hoefgen’s oldest daughter, who still bears bruises and injuries from the crash, said seeing Bryan in court was difficult.
“I just had anger, nothing else really. And I hope I never have to see him again,” she said.
Hoefgen said her husband, who was also riding in the SUV, suffered a severe head laceration and cannot work.
“It’s just really devastating because we’re just starting to get back up on our feet”, she said.
Hoefgen said the family has retained an attorney and set up a fund for donations in Sorina Hoefgen’s name at Boeing Employees Credit Union to help with medical costs.