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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: vehicular homicide

Woman sentenced for fatal hit and run

A 21-year-old woman who drove away after fatally striking a Spokane pedestrian earlier this year has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.

Hannah K. Hahn is to serve 31 months behind bars with credit for 180 days already served. She pleaded guilty Friday to vehicular homicide for a crash in January that killed Dennis Burgess, 47.

Police say Hahn smelled of alcohol and had “some small bottles of alcohol” on her when they stopped a 1999 Dodge Durango as it sped north on Market near Hawthorne Road about 2:17 a.m.

Hahn told them she thought she hit someone with her car. The SUV's windshield was broken and its front end and hood were damaged.

Police found Burgess unconscious in the street near Providence and Market with severe head trauma. He was pronounced dead at a hospital. He was a father of three and worked as a carpenter and landscaper.

In addition to 31 months in prison, Hahn is to pay $4,362 restitution.

Past coverage

Jan. 30: Patrols follow pedestrian-auto crashes

Man pleads guilty in deadly ‘10 crash

A college student has pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide for a 2010 crash that killed a Lewis and Clark High graduate and Eastern Washington University student.

Taylor D. Marean is to be sentenced Sept. 20 by Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque. He pleaded guilty before Leveque Thursday morning for the Feb. 14, 2010 crash that killed Jacoby N. Bryant, 19 (pictured).

Marean faces 31 to 41 months in prison under Washington's standard sentencing range guidline, said Deputy Prosecutor Mary Ann Brady. The sentence is for someone with no criminal history convicted under the drunken driving prong of the vehicular homicide statute.

Another driver, Brooke A. Reese, was sentenced last November to about a year in jail for vehicular homicide statute under the disregard for the safety of others prong.

Reese and Marean were racing when they crashed on on southbound Hatch Road near 54th Avenue.

Bryant was a passenger in Reese's 1999 Pontiac Grand Am (pictured). Marean was driving a 2005 BMW.

Past coverage:

May 28, 2010: Documents give new details on deadly crash

April 27, 2010: Charges in deadly crash on hold for school

April 5, 2010: Charges recommended in crash that killed teen

Stoned-while driving case hangs, again

A second jury in nine months failed to agree Tuesday whether a Deer Park man’s marijuana use caused a fatal crash, highlighting the lack of accepted standards to determine when motorists should be considered too stoned to drive.

A Spokane County jury deliberated only about seven hours before announcing the impasse Tuesday in the vehicular homicide trial of Jonathon P. Bales, 22, who caused the fatal crash on July 26, 2010, that severed the leg and killed 54-year-old Rene Blaume.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

June 6: Driving while stoned is focus of trial

Sept. 21: Jury deadlocked in fatal scooter crash
  

2nd trial begins in fatal scooter crash

Testimony began Tuesday in the second vehicular homicide trial against a Spokane man who killed a woman riding a scooter north of Spokane in 2010.

 Jonathan P. Bales, 22, is facing a second trial after a jury deadlocked and could not come to a unanimous decision following his first trial last September.

Bales was driving his 1985 Pontiac Firebird southbound on Wandermere Road on July 16, 2010, when he crossed the center line and struck 54-year-old Rene Blaume, who was riding her Racer iScooter.

Blaume (pictured) suffered a severed leg and died both from blood loss from the amputation and from trauma from the crash, according to testimony.

A blood test on Bales was negative for alcohol but showed traces of marijuana.

$50k bond for suspect in fatal crash

A 21-year-old woman accused of leaving the scene of fatal drunken crash has been charged with two felonies.

Hannah K. Hahn, 21, remains in jail on $50,000 bond after appearing in Superior Court today on charges of vehicular homicide and failure to remain at the scene of an accident for the crash early Saturday that killed pedestrian Dennis Burgess, 47.

Hahn posted bond over the weekend on a vehicular assault charge but was to be rearrested on the vehicular homicide charge Monday after officers learned Burgess had died.

She didn't show up for court Monday afternoon, and her public defender said she tried to turn herself into he jail later that day but was turned away, according to KHQ. She was arrested on Tuesday.

Hahn, who is pictured courtesy KHQ, has two misdemeanor convictions for minor in possession of alcohol and possession of another person's ID.

Police say Hahn smelled of alcohol and had “some small bottles of alcohol” on her when they stopped 1999 Dodge Durango as it sped north on Market near Hawthorne Road about 2:17 a.m. Saturday.

Officers seized three cans of Mike's Harder Blueberry Lemonade, a bag of suspected marijuana from the car, according to a search warrant filed Tuesday.

 Burgess was struck on Market near East Providence Avenue. His family said he was father of three and worked as a carpenter and landscaper.

Past coverage

Jan. 30: Patrols follow pedestrian-auto crashes


  

Driver in fatal pedestrian crash jailed

A 21-year-old vehicular homicide suspect who missed her court appearance on Monday is back in jail after turning herself in.

Hannah Kay Hahn was arrested Tuesday at her lawyer’s office, KHQ-TV reports.

She was booked into jail about 5:15 p.m. on charges of vehicular homicide and hit-and-run for a crash early Saturday that killed pedestrian Dennis Burgess, 47, at North Market Street and East Providence Avenue. Her bond is set at $50,000. She'll appear before a judge today.

Police say Hahn smelled of alcohol and had “some small bottles of alcohol” on her when they stopped her SUV as it sped north on Market near Hawthorne Road about 2:17 a.m. Saturday.

The SUV’s windshield was broken and its front end and hood were damaged.

Hahn was arrested Saturday but posted bond on a vehicular assault charge. Police planned to arrest her on the upgraded vehicular homicide charge Monday but she didn't show up for court.

Burgess was a father of three and worked as a carpenter and landscaper, his family said.

Past coverage

Jan. 30: Patrols follow pedestrian-auto crashes

Emphasis patrol follows weekend crashes

Crashes that hurt one man and killed another in Spokane last weekend occurred as local authorities are working to emphasize pedestrian safety to motorists.

Emphasis patrols Tuesday and next month in Cheney are part of an ongoing effort in Spokane County to reduce the number of pedestrians injured or killed by motorists each year.

But police say two motorists arrested on felony charges this weekend did more than just fail to yield the right of way.

Read the rest of my story here.

Driver arraigned in wrong-way I90 crash

A Spokane woman who was driving the wrong way on Interstate 90 when she struck and killed 27-year-old Post Falls motorist in March was arraigned today on two felony charges. 

Teri Marie Scheele, 30, told police she had taken an oxycodone pill and “a couple” of hydrocodone pills before the three-car crash on March 25 about 3:10 a.m. at milepost 293 in the eastbound lanes under the Barker Road overpass, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Nov. 4 in Superior Court.

Kenneth Joel Hardin (pictured) was pronounced dead at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.

Police say Scheele had slurred speech but did not smell of intoxicants. A blood test showed signs of Oxycodone and Hydromorphone use, according to the affidavit.

A Washington State Patrol detective talked to seven people who saw Scheele driving the wrong way on the interstate.

The detective also talked to the driver of the third vehicle, Andrew R. Samek, 37, of Hayden, who, despite initial reports that he wasn't injured, suffered a broken neck when he struck Hardin's 1989 Mazda MX6 coupe while trying to avoid the crash then hit a cable barrier, documents say.

Scheele pleaded not guilty today to vehicular homicide and vehicula assault. She's out of custody awaiting trial, which her public defender, Derek Reid, said is scheduled to begin Feb. 13.

Jury deadlocked in fatal scooter crash

A jury deadlocked Tuesday on the vehicular homicide trial of a Deer Park man involved in a collision that killed a woman on a scooter.

Jonathon P. Bales waswas driving his 1985 Pontiac Firebird southbound on Wandermere Road on July 16 when he apparently crossed the center line and struck 54-year-old Rene Blaume, who was riding a Racer iScooter in the northbound lane near the intersection with Glenrose Drive.

Bales, who was 20 at the time, had marijuana in his system at the time of the crash, according to court records.

Bales also said he had been drinking earlier in the evening while helping a friend work on a car, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Mary Ann Brady said she intends to re-try the case before Superior Court Judge Linda Tompkins.

Ruling delays 2nd Strine trial indefinitely

A appellate court will review a double-jeopardy claim by a Spokane stockbroker accused of killing a woman in a crash two years ago, leading to an indefinite delay in what was to be a November jury trial.

 A jury in February declared Jon Strine (pictured) not guilty of vehicular homicide, but jury polling revealed that jurors weren't unanimous and were instead split 6-6, which led to a mistrial.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen denied a subsequent motion by Strine's lawyer, Carl Oreskovich, regarding double jeopardy for a second trial that argues Strine cannot be retried because he's already been declared not guilty.

Oreskovich filed a motion for discretionary review, and an appellate court commissioner ruled this week that “the issue presented involves an important constitutional right and thus appellate review must be immediate to avoid the trial Mr. Strine maintains is barred by the Fifth Amendment's guarantee,” according to the ruling.

Oreskovich said in an email Tuesday that Strine's Nov. 14 trial will not proceed.

“In fact, there will not be another trial until the Court of Appeals decides this issue and only in the event that it is decided against Mr. Strine,” Oreskovich wrote.

The appeal likely won't be heard until April.

 Strine admits to drinking before the June 2009 crash but disputes a state test that placed his blood-alcohol level at .20.

Strine was driving a Mercedes when he crashed into a motorcycle, paralyzing the driver, Gary Keller, and killing the passenger, Keller's wife, Lorri Keller (pictured.)

Past coverage:

Feb. 10: Mistrial declared in vehicular homicide case

Feb. 4: Strine says he wasn't drunk during fatal crash

Jan. 21: Husband recounts fatal crash

Trial begins in fatal car-scooter crash

A 21-year-old man Deer Park is on trial this week for a July 2010 collision that killed a woman riding a motor scooter north of Spokane.

Jonathon P. Bales was driving his 1985 Pontiac Firebird southbound on Wandermere Road on July 16 when he apparently crossed the center line and struck 54-year-old Rene Blaume, (pictured) who was riding a Racer iScooter in the northbound lane near the intersection with Glenrose Drive.

Blaume, who was traveling to her job as an in-home care provider, was declared dead at the scene. Toxicology reports showed that Bales had marijuana in his system at the time of the crash, according to court records.

Bales also said he had been drinking earlier in the evening while helping a friend work on a car, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. He turned himself in and is out of jail on $2,500 bond for a vehicular homicide charge.

Deputy Prosecutor Mary Ann Brady and public defender Anna Nordtvedt are handling the case. Judge Linda Tompkins is presiding. Opening statements were scheduled today.

Fatal crash leads to ‘substantial’ payout

The family of a 9-year-old girl killed in a car crash that led to an infraction against the stop-sign running driver will receive a “substantial” amount of money in an out-of-court lawsuit settlement, their lawyer says.

Olivia Chaffin (pictured) died June 10, 2010, after a pizza delivery driver who was slightly speeding ran a stop sign and crashed into her parents' vehicle. Her grandmother, Shirley Chaffin, broke her neck.

The driver, Echo Henderson, received a $500 ticket for negligent driving. Spokane County prosecutors said the girl's father, Richard Chaffin also was speeding and that running a stop sign, while a bad driving error, is not criminally negligent.

The Chaffins sued for wrongful death and personal injury, and four insurance companies, including Argo for Westside Pizza and Progressive for Henderson, settled out of court on Thursday “for the maximum amount of available insurance,” lawyer James Sweetster said in a news release. Details are confidential. The

Chaffins were driving to Olivia's school play when the crash occurred at Monroe and Hazard roads in north Spokane County. The girl's organs were donated.

An 11-year-old boy received her heart, two sisters in their 60s in Spokane received her kidneys, an unknown recipient revived her corneas and a Philadelphia woman in her 50s receive one of her lungs.

A soccer tournament names in Olivia's honor is to be an annual event.

Her parents, who are teachers in the Mead School District, have pleaded 10,000 to start a scholarship for underprivileged girls who play sports. Sweetser is donating $5,000.

Alcoholic in fatal crash pleads not guilty

A Whitworth University student and convicted felon pleaded not guilty Wednesday to vehicular homicide in connection with a crash in East Spokane on Aug. 9 that killed the passenger.

Michael S. Lindsly, 46, appeared before Superior Court Judge Michael Price and was given a trial date of Oct. 17. Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Stefanie Collins said Lindsly was driving an estimated “70 to 100 mph” in a 35 mph zone when he crashed his 2002 Mercury Sable near the intersection of Alki Way and Broadway Avenue, killing 31-year-old passenger Blair C. Riding.

Lindsly, a 10-time felon who carries a 3.8 grade point average at Whitworth, poses a risk to the community, Collins said.

Price agreed to lower the bond from $100,000 to $75,000, but he ordered Lindsly not to drive while the charge remains pending.

Lindsly is described as a leader in the substance-abuse recovery community.

Fatal DUI crash suspect was in recovery

A Spokane man accused of causing a drunken crash that killed his passenger is a leader in the addiction recovery community and is studying to get his master's degree at Whitworth University, his girlfriend said today.

Michael Shane Lindsly, 46, appeared in Superior Court today via video from the jail, where he was booked after being treated at a hospital for injuries sustained in the Aug. 9 crash.

A vehicular homicide charge was filed against Lindsly on Thursday.

His bail was set at $100,000 today after Judge Michael Price heard from his girlfriend, Lacey Jones. Defense lawyers did not ask for a lower bond.

Lindsly is accused of crashing a 2002 Mercury Sable  and killing Blair C. Riding, 31, while speeding on Broadway Avenue at Alki Way.

Witnesses said the car appeared to be going at least 70 mph. Police say they smelled alcohol in the car and on Lindsly’s breath.

Riding, who was wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Woman charged in deadly I-90 crash

A Coeur d'Alene woman who rear-ended another driver on Interstate 90 in December has been charged with vehicular manslaughter.

Lisa Marie Calbick, 33, was seriously injured in the crash that killed Donald Graham, 77, of Rathdrum. Graham was driving a yellow Chevrolet Equinox westbound near milepost 3 when he was struck by Calbick's Kia Optima, according to Idaho State Police.

Graham lost control of the Chevy, which rolled off the right shoulder and landed on its top. He was pronounced dead at Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene.

Calbick was hospitalized in critical condition but has since recovered and is wanted on a $50,000 warrant in Kootenai County District Court.

Anyone with information on her location is asked to call the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department at (208) 446-1300.

2nd vehicular homicide trial moved to Nov.

The second trial of a Spokane stockbroker accused of killing a woman in a crash two years ago has been postponed until Nov. 14.

Jury selection was set to begin Tuesday in the vehicular homicide trial of Jon Strine, but his lawyer, Carl Oreskovich, has appealed Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzens' rejection of his motion regarding double jeopardy.

Oreskovich contends Strine cannot be tried because a jury verdict of 'not guilty' already was read after his first trial in February.

But jurors weren't unanimous in their decision, which led to a mistrial.

Strine admits to drinking before the June 2009 crash but disputes a state test that placed his blood-alcohol level at .20.

Strine was driving a Mercedes when he crashed into a motorcycle, paralyzing the driver, Gary Keller, and killing the passenger, Keller's wife, Lorri Keller.

Past coverage:

Feb. 10: Mistrial declared in vehicular homicide case

Feb. 4: Strine says he wasn't drunk during fatal crash

Jan. 21: Husband recounts fatal crash

Vehicular homicide suspect turns self in

A Spokane man accused of causing a crash that killed his passenger turned himself into police Tuesday, one day after a reward was offered for tips that led to his arrest.

 Lyle David Eutsler, 26, is to appear in  Spokane County Superior Court today via video from the jail, where he is being held on a vehicular homicide charge.

Investigators believe Eutsler was intoxicated and speeding in February when he crashed his red Mazda MX6 into a pine tree while eastbound on Magnesium Road approaching Market Street.

Deputies arrived to find Eutsler dragging himself away from the driver's door while two women remained trapped inside the crumpled car.

One, 42-year-old Tina L. Patterson, died of her injures about 45 minutes later.

Eutsler was charged this month after toxicology reports showed his blood-alcohol level to be .12 and indicated he'd recently smoked marijuana.

Tips sought on suspect in fatal crash

A reward is being offered for tips that help arrest a man accused of causing a one-car crash in February that killed a passenger.

Lyle David Eutsler, 26, was intoxicated and speeding when he crashed his red Mazda MX6 into a pine tree while eastbound on Magnesium Road approaching Market Street, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies arrived to find Eutsler dragging himself away from the driver's door while two women remained trapped inside the crumpled car. One, 42-year-old Tina L. Patterson, died of her injures about 45 minutes later.

According to court documents, passenger Emilee Odell told police she was at a party when Eutsler and Patterson showed up and said they had a new car. She said Tina told Lyle he was driving too fast and that just before the crash, Tina yelled “Lyle!”

Odell was in the front passenger seat and suffered minor injures, but Patterson was in the back seat and sustained severe head trauma.

Police said Eutsler, who they estimate was driving 56-59 mph in the 35 mph zone, smelled of alcohol and had to be physically restrained in a harness at the Sacred Heart Medical Center emergency room because he was yelling and out of control. He later told a detective he wasn't driving and asked “How could I f***ing be driving when I was lying on the ground with broken ribs?”

A felony charge of vehicular homicide was filed against Eutsler this month after toxicology reports showed his blood-alcohol level to be .12 and indicated he'd recently smoked marijuana.

Eutsler's estranged wife, who has two children with him, told police he'd said he was going to leave the state. Police believe he may be driving a black 1987 Ford Thunderbird with Washington license plate ABP4206. They believe he may be staying on friends' couches and selling plasma for money.

Eutsler’s parents live in the 1000 block of East Olympic. He has a best friend that lives on Wabash somewhere near the Northtown Mall, and his wife (possibly ex-wife) lives in the 7100 block of East Ninth in Spokane Valley, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Anyone with information regarding Lyle Eutsler’s whereabouts is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Charge dropped in car seat death

A vehicular homicide charge was dismissed Thursday against a Post Falls mother whose daughter was fatally injured while riding in an improperly installed car seat five years ago.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen agreed with defense arguments that 26-year-old Eileen C. Jensen’s failure to correctly use the car seat was tragic but not criminally negligent, ending a legal case that brought widespread public attention to car seat safety issues.

Read the rest of my story here.

Read the rest of my story here.

Feb. 18, 2009: Mother arraigned on vehicular homicide charge in car seat case

Nov. 28, 2007: Vehicular homicide charge possible in infant's death

Chronic drunken driver arrested for DUI

A chronic drunken driver convicted of vehicular homicide in 1990 was arrested early Thursday on suspension of drunken driving.

Lance Dean Falcon, 44, of Plummer, Idaho, had a blood-alcohol level of .167 and .162 in two breathe samples submitted at the Spokane Public Safety Building after a Washington State Patrol trooper stopped him for speeding about 6 a.m. near Madison Road and Dishman Mica Road.

Falcon had an unopened can of Keystone Ice beer in his car, and police say they found an empty can of the same beer tossed in the street near where Falcon’s pickup stopped. They also say he smelled of alcohol and had glassy, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.

Falcon said he was headed to a laundry mat than a golf tournament at Circling Raven that day at 11 a.m. He told police he’d had a “few” drinks and four to five hours of sleep, according to a police report. He gave an initial breath test of .169 before he was arrested for drunken driving and taken to the police station.

“Falcon said several times that he was done because this was his third strike,” according to the report.

Falcon faces a felony DUI charge because of his previous conviction for vehicular homicide. He also was arrested for drunken driving in 1996, 1998 and 2008, according to Idaho court records.

The 1998 arrest resulted from a serious car crash in North Idaho that injured a pregnant woman and her 3-year-old son.

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