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Man faces vehicular homicide, DUI charges in Washington

A fatal crash on March 7 led to a massive effort to locate the driver who appeared responsible, according to local sources. Washington police have charged the wayward driver with a variety of infractions, including DUI charges and vehicular homicide. The specifics of the event are still being investigated, and it is unclear whether the man remains in custody. 

The accident record states that a vehicle carrying four individuals, including a 12-year-old and 13-year-old, was traveling north on Route 507 when the accident occurred. A pickup truck coming from the other direction and driven by a 31-year-old man crossed the center line and struck the passenger vehicle head-on. The pickup rolled several times and burst into flames, prompting authorities to believe the driver had been ejected. 

The driver of the passenger vehicle was declared dead at the crash scene, and his three passengers were taken to local hospitals with injuries initially described as non life-threatening. Emergency workers failed to find the driver, who was discovered in the nearby woods some time later by law enforcement, relatively unharmed. He was subsequently arrested for DUI and a number of other charges, though it is unclear exactly what prompted police to issue the drunk driving charges. He was also accused of hit and run.

In order for the man to be found guilty of most of the crimes of which he has been accused, including the DUI charges, Washington state prosecutors will have to prove he was intoxicated at the time of the crash. This means providing competent evidence to support those allegation, typically in the form of blood test results and/or roadside sobriety testing. If these tests were not administered, or they were administered incorrectly or in contravention  of the legal rights of the driver, the results of any such tests could be deemed inadmissible in the upcoming criminal proceedings. 

Source: thenewstribune.com, "Tacoma man killed, 3 others hurt in Spanaway-area crash", Kenny Via, March 8, 2015

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