By Scott North Herald Writer
EVERETT — On June 9, 2012, Terrence Olesen decided to hit the bottle hard.
He slugged down at least 10 shots of vodka mixed with orange juice. Next came a visit to a Marysville tavern where he reportedly drank two 24-ounce beers.
Then the Everett man, 28, got behind the wheel of his car. He plowed into two pedestrians and a bicyclist on Shoultes Road and just kept driving.
Shane Santos, 18, died from a head injury and multiple broken bones. His friends, 20 and 21, also had multiple broken bones.
Olesen’s blood alcohol level later tested at triple the legal limit. On Tuesday he pleaded guilty to four felonies, including vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Under state guidelines, Olesen will face from 12 to 15 years in prison, two years above the typical punishment. That’s because Olesen has a 2007 drunken driving conviction.
On Tuesday, Santos’ family filled much of the Snohomish County Superior Court hearing room. They sat in respectful silence through nearly an hour of hearings for other defendants before the person responsible for their loved one’s death was summoned in front of Judge Anita Farris.
Some dabbed tears from their eyes as Olesen entered his guilty pleas, and the bare details of the death and injury he brought were recounted.
Shane Santos, who was known as “Hugz” to his friends and family, grew up in Marysville and attended Marysville Pilchuck High School. He worked at a local pet-supply store owned by his grandmother and liked to hang out at Comeford Park playing hackysack.
Detectives determined that Santos and his friends simply wound up in the path of a dangerously intoxicated Olesen.
They learned about the booze Olesen consumed in the hours before the crash. They talked to witnesses who saw him get into an argument at the tavern that ended with him being escorted from the building.
Tavern staff offered to call him a cab, but Olesen refused and drove away.
Detectives later tracked down a string of witnesses who encountered the drunken driver that night before the crash. One said Olesen had difficulty maneuvering through the drive-up window at a fast-food restaurant. Another had to swerve onto the shoulder to avoid a head-on collision. He was seen clipping a couple of parked cars without stopping.
Santos and his friends were on the shoulder of the road when Olesen struck them. The driver stopped and his passenger jumped out briefly. Then, with a shouted curse, they drove away, court papers said.
The car and Olesen were found nearby, where he had crashed into a tree. Police followed a trail of fluid that had leaked from the damaged car. They also found the license plate and bumper, perched atop a median where Olesen had plowed the car across the roundabout on 51st Street.
When confronted by police, Olesen told them he’d “(expletive) up bad.” He asked if the case would become “like a vehicle homicide, allegedly?”
They took him to an area hospital where his blood alcohol level tested at .24. It is against the law to operate a motor vehicle at .08 or above.
On Tuesday, the newly convicted felon appeared to be trying to avoid making eye contact with relatives of the young man whose life he ended on a Marysville street.
His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 24.
Scott North: 425-339-3431, firstname.lastname@example.org