Fred Russell Trial Update - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Fred Russell Trial Update

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KELSO, Wash. -- A key eyewitness took the stand Thursday in the Fred Russell Trial. Robert Hart was the man driving in front of Fred Russell at the time of the 2001 accident that killed three WSU students.

Today, the defense asked if he is the one really responsible for the deadly crash. Robert Hart said when he was about a mile east of Pullman, he saw a car make what looked to be an abrupt pass about two blocks behind him. Hart said he tried to keep watching the car and a couple of miles down the road it came up really fast behind him.

He says, "They got about 10 feet behind me when I swerved to the right."

Hart said the SUV swerved back and forth and that the vehicle was going very, very fast. He estimates that it was going about 90 miles an hour. Then, he says he saw the SUV crash.

Hart said, "I ran to the scene and yelled who was driving and they pointed to the man I now know as Fred Russell.""

Defense attorney Francisco Duarte spent a lot of time asking Hart how long it took for the SUV to pass him after he pulled over.

He said, "I pulled over, I feared for my life, there was no place left for the car to go."

Duarte also asked Hart why he left the scene only minutes after the accident happend. Hart said he had to get to work. Duarte asked if there was another reason.

Duarte said, "Did you not stay and talk to police because you thought you were responsible.

Hart said, "Is that a question?"

Duarte said, " Yes, it is."

Hart said, "No."