Suspected drunken driver charged after hitting gas station

Cary Ashby • Jul 9, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Gas station clerk Philip Haar was working at the cash register when the minivan crashed into Haar's Five Point Marathon.

"I heard a loud bang from working at the register," the witness told Bellevue Police Detective Marc Linder.

Haar said he looked up "in time to see a white van get its windshield smashed in" after hitting a utility pole.

"The van then drove around (two gas) pumps and rammed into the clothes bin, knocking it into the building. The driver -- a female -- then hit the gas again before backing up. She then tried to go forward, but stopped and started to walk down Northwest Street," Haar wrote in his statement to police.

The driver, Jillyan K. Natole, 28, of Republic, was charged with driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license and failure to control in connection with the accident about 9:15 a.m. Friday.

The crash, which left a path of destruction, happened near the intersection of Northwest and Castalia streets.

First responders found a downed wire and destroyed utility pole when the 1997 GMC minivan driven by Natole hit the building of a Bellevue gas station. Bellevue firefighters and North Central EMS responded. The Bellevue Police Department handled the investigation, which remains ongoing.

"A wire was down. A building was hit by a vehicle. The pole itself was sheared off," firefighter Brian Ackerman told the Reflector.

While Ackerman didn't respond to the crash site, he said Natole apparently wasn't injured.

Natole was westbound on North Street and told police she was going 35 mph in the 25 mph zone before the accident. Police said she went off the right side of the road, hit a telephone pole and the van went through the parking lot of the Marathon gas station. The vehicle then hit the west side of the building.

Motorist Tina Bolyard was stopped at the traffic light at the intersection of Exchange and North streets before the crash. She told police about the destruction she witnessed and confirmed the sequence of events reported by the Marathon employee.

Bolyard said she saw the van traveling westbound on North Street, hit a pole and the entrance to the Marathon.

"The van continued through the pump area of the station along Castalia Street. The van then continued up along the building of the Marathon station and hit a large, white drop box for clothing and shoes. I then observed the van start smoking and back up," Bolyard wrote in her statement.

Natole next reportedly exited the vehicle, cursed, said her "brakes went out" and she needed to call her boyfriend, the witness continued.

"I then observed the female walk across Castalia and Northwest street(s). The female continued to walk northbound on Northwest Street. I then called the police," Bolyard wrote in her statement.

Northtown Towing Co. took the van from the scene with damage to the center front.

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