Garrett Turski, 19, was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of vehicular homicide for the April 9 crash that killed Ellen Rose Floyd, 17, of Stanwood. A judge on Monday agreed to release Turski on his own personal recognizance.
Turski was ordered to surrender his passport, abstain from alcohol and live with his parents. His attorney, Richard Hansen, said Turski's passport was seized Saturday and the teen already has been abiding by the conditions requested by prosecutors.
Investigators suspect that Turski was speeding and drunk when he lost control of his convertible Ford Mustang on Old Highway 99 north of Stanwood. The car left the road, vaulted over a ditch, struck some trees and landed back on the road, according to a police affidavit filed Monday in Everett District Court.
Floyd was ejected from the car. She died at the scene.
Turski was found in the trunk. Investigators found a hole in the rear deck area of the car and believe Turski was thrown into the trunk when the car crashed, according to a police affidavit.
Witnesses told investigators that Turski and some friends were drinking alcohol in the hours leading up to the crash. A home video surveillance camera shows Turski leaving a friend's house with Floyd about 4:05 a.m. Turski was captured on video surveillance a few minutes later at a gas station purchasing cigarettes, police wrote in the affidavit. The camera showed Turski's car leaving the store about 90 seconds later. It appeared that he was driving and Floyd was in the passenger seat, court papers said.
"There's no proof that he was in the driver's seat," said the teen's father Kenneth Turski, who attended Monday's hearing with his wife.
Turski told investigators at the hospital that he didn't remember what happened. He told police his friends ditched him and then said a couple of girls were driving him home and he was in the backseat, according to the police affidavit.
A witness to the crash estimated that the Mustang was traveling about 100 mph. The witness approached the car but was unable to locate anyone inside. She drove to a pay phone and summoned help.
Firefighters arrived about three minutes later and heard moaning from the trunk area. That's where they found Turski. He was taken to the hospital where his blood was drawn for tests. The results showed that Turski had a .11 blood alcohol level, court papers said.
Turski remained free until Saturday night when he returned from a trip abroad. Turski attended a five-week missionary trip to Ireland with Reign Ministries Royal Servants. Reign Ministries organizes missionary trips around the world for young people, according to the group's website.
There were some concerns about Turski's travel plans since extraditions from Ireland have been problematic over the years, sheriff's Sgt. Scott Fenter said.
It took about a year for a former Washington State University student to be extradited from Ireland after he fled there in 2001 following a deadly crash that killed three college students near Pullman. More than a dozen other requests to extradite U.S. fugitives have been turned down by Irish authorities.
Immigration officials told Snohomish County investigators that Turski had a one-way ticket to Dublin, but there was no record of a return flight, police records said.
"He did return as scheduled with the church," Fenter said.
Prosecutors were aware that Turski had traveled to Ireland, Hansen said. It's "mystifying" that a detective arrested Turski after he returned to the States from a missionary trip, the Seattle attorney said. Turski hasn't been charged with a crime and didn't have any travel restrictions when he left, Hansen said.
Turski's mother said that she and her son were mistreated by police at the airport. She said her son has never been in trouble. He has been depressed since the accident, Rhonda Turski said.
"Ellen was Garrett's friend, and he's been dying inside," she said.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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