Pierce County prosecutors have charged a suspected drunken driver who hit a man changing his tire on the side of state Route 512 last week.
Heriberto Nambo, 24, of Tacoma, pleaded not guilty Monday to vehicular assault and third-degree driving on a suspended license. Bail was set at $35,000.
The collision occurred Friday evening in the eastbound lanes of SR 512 just east of the South Hill Mall exit.
Witnesses called 911 to report an erratic driver who slammed into a man changing his tire on the side of the road. When Washington State Patrol troopers arrived, they found the injured man lying in front of his truck and his car up on a jack.
Nambo was standing among a crowd of people trying to render aid to the injured man. He told troopers he lost control of his vehicle because of a bad tire.
A trooper noticed Nambo smelled alcohol and his steps from “extremely shaky and uncoordinated,” according to charging papers.
He told the trooper he never drinks alcohol and had nothing to drink that night.
The injured man, a 39-year-old Tacoma man, remains in serious condition at the hospital.