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He drove high in Puyallup and killed woman who got out of her disabled car, charges say

Sept. 5, 2022 Updated Mon., Sept. 5, 2022 at 9:10 p.m.

By Peter Talbot Tacoma News Tribune

PUYALLUP, Wash. – A 35-year-old man suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana in Puyallup last year, fatally striking a woman who had gotten out of her car, has been charged.

Capt. Ryan Portmann of Puyallup Police Department said Friday that officers determined the 64-year-old woman got out of her vehicle after she ran out of gas near the 300 block of 39th Avenue Southwest.

Isaac Keith Syph was charged Thursday in Pierce County Superior Court with vehicular homicide. He was summoned to court for arraignment on Sept. 29.

Charging documents say Syph was driving east on 39th Avenue Southwest the night of Oct. 28, 2021, when he switched lanes to pass a car stopped in the inside lane. As he passed the vehicle, his car’s airbags deployed and he stopped. Puyallup Police Department detectives responded and found a woman down in the road, later identified as Linda Lee.

Officers and fire department personnel tried to save Lee’s life, police said, but she died at the scene.

The defendant told police he was driving about 30-35 mph when he passed the woman’s vehicle. According to the declaration for determination of probable cause, the defendant’s license was suspended, and officers noticed his eyes were bloodshot and watery.

Syph performed poorly on a field sobriety test, records state, and he was arrested on suspicion of vehicle homicide.

The man’s blood was drawn, and toxicology testing showed he had about 11 nanograms per milliliter of “active marijuana” in his system at the time of the collision. The legal limit is 5.0.

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