A man in Franklin County is facing serious charges following a fatal car accident. Washington law enforcement authorities arrested the man, who now faces drunk driving charges as well as the more serious charge of homicide in relation to the crash. The 48-year-old man is currently in custody pending additional investigation. His next scheduled court date was set for July.
According to the investigation so far, the man was transporting a van occupied by young people on their way to a work site around 5:20 a.m. on June 16. He attempted to pass a vehicle in a no-pass zone on Route 70, struck another vehicle and rolled the van. A 12-year-old boy was killed when he was thrown from the van by the force of the impact.
Officers believe the man may have been intoxicated at the time of the crash, apparently due to a roadside confession and the alleged presence of beer in the van. He was arrested on site and charged with suspicion of drunk driving, reckless endangerment and vehicular homicide, among several other charges. If found guilty, he could face jail time.
A confession obtained at the site of a fatal accident could be strong evidence to support drunk driving charges, presuming that it was given of the individual's free will and without coercion. Washington authorities must prove this was the case before such a statement may be ruled admissible as evidence in criminal court. Moreover, the man's rights must have been respected throughout his arrest and the entirely of any subsequent legal proceedings. A failure to produce such evidence may result in the DUI charge being reduced or dropped entirely.
Source: tri-cityherald.com, "Driver in Franklin County crash charged with vehicular homicide", Kristin M. Kraemer, June 19, 2015