Fife DUI patrol dedicated to young Pierce County victim

While many last weekend were celebrating Mother’s Day and looking forward to Father’s Day, Jonathon and Karla Wayman were getting ready for this Friday’s DUI emphasis patrol, which will be dedicated to their 3-month-old son, Jayden (pictured), who was killed earlier this year by an impaired hit-and-run driver in Fife.

Officers from the Fife Police Department, along with others affiliated with the Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force, will be roving the streets of Fife and the surrounding area looking for unsafe drivers who may be under the influence of alcohol or prescription or illegal drugs.

Karla Wayman, Jayden’s mother, experienced a parent’s nightmare on the night of Jan. 24: watching helplessly as a car struck a vehicle carrying her child, said Kevin Farris, law enforcement coordinator for the special patrol and lieutenant with the Fife Police Department. On the night of the crash, Karla Wayman, in a separate vehicle, was following her husband and infant home from a family gathering. She watched as Matthew Hamilton sped through the intersection at 70th Avenue East and 20th Street East in Fife and struck her husband’s car on the passenger side where Jayden was strapped into his car seat in the back seat.

Fife police and other agencies searched for Hamilton, who had fled the scene. Soon after the crash, the suspect was found at a friend’s apartment. Hamilton was sentenced to nine years and eight months in prison for the crime. Court records and prosecutors say Hamilton had nine prior juvenile convictions and had been convicted of hit-and-run and negligent driving, including driving under the influence.

“You can only hope that he will seriously consider the help he will likely need to avoid alcohol when he is released,” said John Cheesman, chairman of the Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force and chief of the Fircrest Police Department.

The Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force is funded by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and Pierce County Human Services. Funding for Friday’s upcoming patrol is provided by member law enforcement agencies of the task force and the state commission.