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Officer Charged In Accident Facing Vehicular Homicide Charges After Two Deaths

A Carnation police sergeant was charged Tuesday with two counts of vehicular homicide in a traffic accident that killed a Lynnwood woman and her mother and seriously injured the woman’s husband.

Bail of $50,000 was set for Susan Elizabeth Holan, 37, of Woodinville, who will be booked into the King County Jail after completing hospital treatment for injuries she suffered in the May 7 accident, said spokesman Dan Donohoe of the King County prosecutor’s office.

Charging papers said Holan was driving while “under the influence of intoxicating liquor and in a reckless manner.” Tests immediately after the crash indicated a blood-alcohol level of 0.239 - well over the 0.10 level used as the legal definition of intoxication in Washington state.

In addition to bail, prosecutors asked that Holan be ordered not to drive or to drink intoxicating beverages. The homicide charges were filed in the deaths of Judith Hunter and her mother, Marjorie Schmidt.

Holan also is charged with vehicular assault, accused of seriously injuring Hunter’s husband, Russell Hunter, who suffered a fractured pelvis, collapsed lung, broken ribs and a broken foot.

If convicted, Holan could face a penalty of 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 years under state sentencing guidelines, Donohoe said, but he noted she is charged with a Class B felony, which can carry a maximum penalty of 10 years.

The Hunters and Schmidt were northbound in a Ford Ranger pickup on Interstate 5, returning from a family barbecue in Kent that Sunday night.

Holan was southbound, driving erratically and at speeds up to 75 mph, prosecutors said. Her conduct prompted several 911 calls from other drivers before the accident, said charging papers, which identify several witnesses who narrowly avoided collision.

Just north of Northgate Mall, Holan’s Cadillac entered an express-lane entrance despite signs noting the lanes were closed to southbound traffic.

“They then watched as the defendant drove through thirteen wooden barriers blocking entry to the express lanes,” winding up southbound in the northbound express lanes, according to documents filed by Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Craig A. Peterson.

Three cars averted collision with Holan’s Cadillac before it slammed head-on onto the Hunters’ truck.