Washington crash kills 1, possible drunk driver pleads not guilty

An Aug. 3 rollover accident on State Route 7 killed a University Place man and led Pierce County prosecutors to charge a Fort Riley, Kansas, man with vehicular homicide. The 25-year-old man pleaded not guilty on Aug. 5 and was held on $75,000 bail.

The accident occurred around 10:45 p.m. when the Kansas man lost control of a northbound pickup truck while rounding a curve near Pilgrim Road. The truck hit a guardrail after leaving the road and rolled before returning to the north lanes. The driver went to Good Samaritan Hospital with unspecified injuries, and a 48-year-old passenger, who was not wearing a seat belt, died after being partially ejected from his seat and becoming trapped between the guardrail and the truck.

The authorities believe that alcohol was a factor in the wreck and reported that the driver showed signs of intoxication at the crash site. Court records show that the passenger had asked the other man to drive, and the driver allegedly said that both men had shared a few beers before the accident and had been drinking all day.

When a loved one dies in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the family of the decedent might consider filing a wrongful death claim to get compensation for auto injuries, funeral expenses and lost wages. The family may receive a settlement from the driver’s insurance company or be awarded damages in court if a settlement cannot be reached.

There are times when drivers deny responsibility for crashes. If any of these drivers are facing criminal charges in relation to a crash, any evidence uncovered during the criminal proceedings, such as a driver’s blood alcohol content level, might be used as evidence of liability in civil proceedings.

Source: The News Tribune, “University Place man killed in rollover crash identified,” Stacia Glenn, Aug. 4, 2014

Source: The News Tribune, “Man pleads not guilty to vehicular homicide in crash that killed University Place man“, Stacia Glenn, August 05, 2014