In May, a head-on collision in Skagit County led to the death of three individuals and the injury of two others. According to reports, the crash occurred when a local 19-year-old man crossed the center of the road along State Route 20 before running into an oncoming westbound vehicle. Two of the deceased were passengers in the 19-year-old’s vehicle, and he sustained severe injuries that required emergency responders to airlift him to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center.
According to reports, the man may now face charges for driving under the influence in addition to vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. Prosecutors claimed that he had been under the effects of both alcohol and marijuana prior to the accident. Police failed to confirm whether he had been administered a blood test to verify these allegations. Although news sources said that the man had previous DUI charges on his record, these indictments were subsequently dropped for unknown reasons.
Officials with the Washington State Patrol also issued a $1 million warrant for the man after his family checked him out of the hospital. He later surrendered to police, but it was unclear as to why the hospital staff discharged him with two broken limbs or whether he could face additional charges for leaving.
DUI laws in Washington carry severe penalties for those convicted, especially when fatal accidents are involved. Since THC levels can remain in one’s system weeks after using, blood and urine tests may prove to be unreliable. An attorney could contest these results and have the charges mitigated or dropped. If the man’s blood alcohol level suggests compelling evidence of impairment, he may want to consider a plea deal.
Source: Q13FOX.com, “NEW INFO: Suspect in crash that killed 3 turns himself in at Harborview “, June 14, 2014