A 30-year-old man is facing charges following a fatal accident on State Route 16, according to local sources. The man is facing vehicular homicide charges filed by Washington law enforcement after he allegedly rear-ended a vehicle operated by a 71-year-old man, resulting in his death. Police do believe that driving under the influence may have contributed to this tragedy.
According to the police report, around 6 a.m. on the morning of Nov. 19, the victim was pulling out of a coffee shop in his car. At this time he was apparently rear-ended by the man who now stands accused. He was apparently driving a pickup truck. The force of the impact shoved the older man's car into oncoming traffic where it struck two other vehicles. Both of those drivers were also rushed to hospitals.
The 71-year-old died of his injuries at the site of the accident. Police on the scene alleged that the 30-year-old driver was both drunk and speeding at the time of the crash, but the report does not mention how they made this determination. It has been reported that the man's vehicle allegedly had empty liquor and beer bottles in it when the crash occurred.
If the accused is convicted on the vehicular homicide charge, he likely faces jail time and various other penalties. If Washington DUI charges are also pursued, the potential consequences may be even more severe. However, in order for a conviction to be secured, prosecutors will need significant proof of their claims. If DUI charges are filed in this case, results of a Breathalyzer, roadside sobriety or blood test may be offered as evidence to help corroborate the claims that the man was driving under the influence at the time of the crash. If such evidence does not exist, or if the means by which it was obtained was contrary to the rights of the individual, any DUI charges filed could be dropped altogether.
Source: q13fox.com, "Elderly man killed in DUI crash, police say; driver booked on homicide charge", Steve Kiggins, Nov. 19, 2015