By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
Four women were injured last night when their Cadillac was rear-ended by a speeding driver on Interstate 5 in Centralia; the impact so powerful it pushed the car’s trunk into its backseat.
“It got hit hard, really hard,” Chehalis Firefighter Derrick Paul said this morning.
Responders had to cut off two of the car’s doors to extricate the occupants, Paul said.
Aid and troopers called about 11 p.m. to the northbound lanes near the Mellen Street interchange. The 1994 Cadillac Seville was totaled and the driver of a Mitsubishi Montero had fled the scene, according to Washington State Patrol.
Carlos Pioquinto Flores, 30, of Tacoma, was found a short time later with the help of Centralia police dog Lobo and his partner Officer Ruben Ramirez, according to law enforcement officers. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for driving under the influence, hit and run and other offenses including obstructing, according to the state patrol.
The investigating trooper reported Pioquinto Flores was not injured.
The women were taken to Providence Centralia Hospital with back injuries, the patrol reported. Firefighter Paul said one of them declined to go to the hospital.
The injured are listed as Karen M. Rotter, 58, of Rochester; Shirley M. Brown, 71, Olympia; Faye L. Pelleriti, 67, Olympia; and Nancy Parker, 61, Olympia.