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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane man arrested following fatal I-90 crash blew double the legal limit in DUI test, court documents say

The man arrested following a crash that killed a Redding, California, woman Sunday night admitted to drinking a single beer hours before the collision, but instead blew more than double the legal limit during a preliminary breath test, court records show.

Spokane resident Philip Garcia, 23, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence after Washington State Patrol said he hit the rear of a 2014 Kia in the next lane, causing it to roll across Interstate 90 near the Medical Lake exit. The collision killed the passenger of the Kia, 32-year-old Jessica Wright, and sent the driver, 23-year-old Elizabeth Stewart, to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center with injuries.

Two children, ages 2 and 4, were also in the car at the time but were not injured, WSP said.

According to court documents, WSP officers said Garcia told them he attempted to pass a semitruck but failed to see the Kia in the next lane. Officers wrote they observed Garcia smelled like alcohol and his eyes were bloodshot and watery, so they issued a breath test. Court documents say Garcia’s breath test reading came back as a 0.167, more than double the legal limit of 0.08. Garcia told officers he had one beer at 3 p.m. that day, nearly six hours before the crash around 9

Spokane County Superior Court Commissioner John Stine released Garcia on his own recognizance following his first court appearance on Monday.

His arraignment is scheduled at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 4