Boise police arrest suspect in fatal hit-and-run after help from tow truck driver

With the help of an observant tow truck driver, police arrested a suspect in a fatal hit-and-run accident.

The incident happened on State Street, just west of North Roe Street, likely between 6:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. on Monday, according to a Boise Police Department news release.

Police said they believe the driver was heading east on State Street when he struck a woman who was on or near the roadway.

Officers responded at about 7:15 p.m. and found that the woman had already died, according to Boise police. They secured the area and closed State Street’s eastbound lanes while an Idaho State Police crash reconstruction team investigated.

The Ada County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as 56-year-old Erma Sookiyak, of Anchorage, Alaska. Her cause of death was listed as “traumatic blunt force injuries” and the manner was an “accident.” The coroner pronounced her dead at the scene at 8:20 p.m.

Law enforcement asked the public for help finding the suspect, whose vehicle was silver or gray and “likely has noticeable damage to the front end, windshield and hood,” according to the release.

“Investigators have been canvassing the area for evidence and witnesses, and they are following up on leads,” the department said.

On Tuesday, a tow truck driver noticed a silver Honda covered in blankets at an apartment complex near the 2000 block of West Stewart Avenue, according to a Wednesday police news release. The vehicle didn’t have the correct parking permits.

After loading it onto his flatbed, the tow truck driver realized that the vehicle matched the possible description shared by police in the hit-and-run, the release said. The car had “extensive front-end damage, a shattered windshield, and additional evidence indicating it was the vehicle involved in the fatal crash,” according to police.

The driver called police, who soon located a suspect connected with the vehicle, the release said.

A 36-year-old Boise man was arrested and booked into the Ada County Jail late Tuesday night, according to jail records. He was charged with two felony counts: leaving the scene of a fatal accident and destroying, altering or concealing evidence.