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Estranged wife arrested after hit-and-run crash that killed husband in Tacoma

The 41-year-old suspect was identified by witnesses as the victim's wife.

TACOMA, Wash. — A woman suspected of hitting and killing her husband with a vehicle in Tacoma Thursday night was arrested.

The Tacoma Police Department (TPD) said around 10 p.m., officers responded to S. 10th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way for a report that a man had been struck by a vehicle in a hit-and-run crash.

When officers arrived, they located the unresponsive 52-year-old man in the roadway and started life-saving measures.

He was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, but he later died from his injuries.

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TPD said the driver of the vehicle that hit the man was identified by witnesses as the victim’s 41-year-old estranged wife. 

Witnesses initially told police she had hit her husband on purpose before fleeing. Police initially classified the collision as a homicide. 

However, after reviewing surveillance footage and interviewing the wife, police do not believe the incident was deliberate. Police say the husband ran in front of the suspect's car as it was moving. Police re-classified the collision as a hit-and-run.

Tacoma Police Department spokesperson Wendy Haddow said this possibility is part of why certain details aren’t immediately released before investigators are able to closely examine them.  

“I know it can be frustrating to the public, why aren’t the police releasing these things? Why haven’t they released names?” she said. “But further investigation can show that the original crime might not have actually occurred.” 

Bill Johnson, production manager of the Johnson Candy Co. on the corner, hopes the incident doesn’t put the neighborhood in a negative light. 

“The perception of the area has always been a lot worse than the reality, but that’s something that’s hard to convey to people,” he said.

The suspect was booked into jail on suspicion of felony hit-and-run.

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