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Driver busted for using inflatable doll in HOV lane

This driver denies trying to trick a trooper when he was caught with an inflatable doll in the front seat. (Photo courtesy Washington State Patrol)

Who’s the real dummy? That’s the question state patrol
troopers are asking after a guy was caught swerving into
the HOV lane with an inflatable doll in the passenger

The 21-year-old Renton man cut off a trooper on I-405,
forcing him to hit his brakes to avoid a collision. When
the trooper pulled him over, he saw what looked like a
passenger ducking down in the front seat, according to
Washington State Patrol trooper Julie Startup.

Startup says the trooper became concerned about what was
going on inside the car, only to discover the “passenger”
was just an inflated doll wearing a sweatshirt.

“It does seem like people think they can dress them up and
they just won’t get noticed,” Startup says.

She says when it comes to trying to trick troopers,
Startup still gives higher marks to the guy who dressed up
a skeleton for creativity.

“But this one definitely gets a few points because he did
dress it and the trooper said when he was pulling up
behind it that it looked like a real passenger.”

The driver denied trying to fool anyone. The trooper gave
him a $248 ticket for
the HOV violation and unsafe lane change.

About the Author

Josh Kerns

Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He covers everything from May Day riots in Seattle to the latest Boeing news. Email Josh at


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