Driver tells deputy “voices” told him to cross the center line


A Gig Harbor driver who crossed the center line causing a head-on crash on Highway 109 Saturday night told a Grays Harbor Sheriff’s deputy that voices in his head told him to do it, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Steven K. Tomita, 63, of Gig Harbor, was uninjured. He made his first court appearance Monday in Grays Harbor District Court, charged with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon.

Tomita allegedly told a deputy that he had wanted to kill himself. He allegedly made similar statements to witnesses. Tomita was arrested and booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail; investigators are looking into his mental status.

The collision sent three people, including two from Aberdeen, to the hospital, according to the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office. All three were transported to Grays Harbor Community Hospital where they were treated and released.

The crash, which blocked the road for more than three-and-a-half hours, occurred just prior to 7 p.m. about eight miles north of Hoquiam.

The passenger in Tomita’s car, Erik K. Johansen, 51, of Tacoma, was wearing his seat-belt. The driver of the other car, was Melody L. Ancheta, 52, of Aberdeen and her passenger Russell R. Snell, 53, of Aberdeen; both were wearing their seat-belts.

Tomita is held in Grays Harbor County Jail. His next hearing is set for Sept. 25.