Ex-NBA player faces felony

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:49 AM

Duane Eddy Washington of Caledonia is now scheduled be arraigned on the felony at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 19 in Ottawa County Circuit Court — “unless his appearance has been waived, as often occurs,” said District Judge Richard Kloote.

Police said Washington, 48, was driving the car that hit Estella Vitins, 70, of Sparta at around 2 a.m. Sept. 18 on I-96 in Crockery Township.

Vitins had parked her car near the highway's 6-mile marker and was walking along the shoulder of the eastbound lanes, back toward the Fruitport exit, when she was struck by Washington's car, police said.

Vitins, who has dementia, was reported missing by the Kent County Sheriff’s Department on Sept. 17. She was taken to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids following the crash.

Police said they found Washington and his car in Kent County's Gaines Township at around noon Sept. 18.

Washington was charged with failure to stop at a personal injury accident at his lower-court arraignment on Sept. 19. Bond was continued at $3,500.

He faces up to five years in prison if convicted of the charge.

Washington reportedly said he was traveling at about 70 mph when he saw a woman in his headlights. He said he attempted to swerve, but claims he didn't know he hit her at first.

Washington played short stints for the New Jersey Nets in the late 1980s and Los Angeles Clippers in the early 1990s. He is the older brother of current NBA player Derek Fisher.

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