1 dead, 1 hurt in campground hit-and-run; suspect in custody

Claudine Rigal
Mai 31, 2017

According to the Seattle Times, Kramer and a group of friends had been celebrating his 20th birthday with a camping trip along the picturesque Humptulips River in Grays Harbor County, Washington.

Larry Ralston, a tribal council member and former Quinault police chief, added non-Native people may not recognize the bigotry they face.

The truck driver started spinning doughnuts around the campsite but when some of the campers told him to stop, the situation escalated.

And before his birthday was over, Kramer would be dead.

Investigators continued searching Tuesday for the unknown man responsible for the hit-and-run that killed Jimmy Smith-Kramer, a 20-year-old father of twin toddlers.

"The current press reports are causing much grief for our young Quinault youth who witnessed this awful event every time it is falsely announced", said Larry Ralston, Quinault tribal treasurer, in a statement.

"If it is, in fact, determined that this was a hate crime it will add even more distress and sadness to our loss of this outstanding young man and the injury of the other", Sharp is quoted in the statement.

The events occured at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, when a man described as white and in his 30s started "spinning donuts and driving aggressively" around the campers, and then "backed over" the two young men. Witnesses interviewed by police did not report hearing racial slurs, Pimentel said.

"The witnesses there felt (the driver) was intentionally trying to run these subjects over", Johansson told the Times.

The Quinault tribe disputed at least part of that account. Police and Quinault tribe members fear that the act may have been racially motivated, as witnesses described the truck driver as yelling racial slurs and "war whoops" as he ran over the two victims.

After sustaining serious injuries, Harvey was released from the hospital on Sunday, the Seattle Times reported.

"Having grown up in the (Grays) Harbor and dealing with racism, we do recognize that there's different ways of viewing it", whose daughter raised Smith-Kramer after his mother died.

A spokesperson for the Quinault tribe described Kramer as a "stellar athlete" and "keen hunter" who, after graduating Talohah High School, became a commercial fisherman. "He was just a really good boy", he said.

Sheriff's detectives, who are investigating the case as a murder, are now seeking the public's help.

The white Chevrolet C/K truck is reportedly very similar in appearance to the handout photo up top provided by law enforcement, with an extended cab, large tires, and a lift kit. A woman and another male may have been passengers in the truck during the incident, he added.

The Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Office says a suspect, a man from Hoquiam, was arrested Tuesday evening.

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