Detectives say diabetes factored in crash

EVERETT — Investigators are alleging that an Everett man suffered repeated medical emergencies because of mismanaging his diabetes before he crashed into a Snohomish County sheriff’s motorcycle deputy in June.

Earlier this week, Everett police detectives sent their completed investigation to county prosecutors. They’re recommending the man, 33, be charged with vehicular assault, a felony, department spokesman Aaron Snell said.

Deputy Bill Dawson, 48, was seriously injured and remains on medical leave, sheriff’s spokeswoman Shari Ireton said. In January, Dawson is expected to be awarded the agency’s Purple Heart for being hurt in the line of duty.

“(Dawson) is progressing well in his physical therapy and looking forward to coming back to work as soon as he can, possibly by early next spring,” Ireton said.

The June 13 collision was reported at 10:30 a.m. just north of the intersection of Evergreen Way and 112th Street SW. At the time, Dawson was on his motorcycle and pulling someone over.

The Everett man was southbound in a Lexus ES 300 when he reportedly crossed the center line and struck Dawson. The impact threw Dawson off his motorcycle.

Records show the deputy suffered broken bones, a fractured vertebra and organ damage.

Witnesses and Everett Fire Department medics at the scene told police the suspect seemed disoriented and confused. A medical test later showed his blood-sugar level at the time was just a few notches above levels typically associated with seizures, comas, strokes and death. His blood-sugar was low enough to cause slurred speech and trouble with walking or standing, records show.

A blood test found no evidence of illegal drugs or alcohol in the man’s system. Mechanical issues with his car also were ruled out.

The man reportedly told detectives that he was driving home from a medical appointment before the crash and does not remember what happened. He said he’d eaten breakfast and checked his blood sugar before the appointment. He also said he’d had a diabetic episode in January or February where he could not be awakened.

The man had a diabetes-related collision in Mukilteo in 2010, according to search warrants filed in the Everett case. In the 2010 crash, the man crossed the center line and stuck another vehicle head-on during a diabetic episode.

Between March and May 2013, medics were called to the man’s home at least five times for diabetic emergencies, according to the records. Most of those incidents involved someone else at the home calling 911 because the man had dangerously low blood sugar.

The Herald is not naming the man because he has not been charged in connection with the Everett crash. He has no serious criminal history.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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