Hwy. 529 crash could bring $111K fine for Everett driver

EVERETT — An Everett woman likely will be fined more than $100,000 for a booze-fueled wreck that damaged the Highway 529 bridge and paralyzed an evening commute last year.

Tory Long, 39, isn’t facing much jail time for the Dec. 1 police pursuit and crash. She pleaded guilty in August to DUI and attempting to elude police. She is looking at between four months and a year in the county jail at a sentencing scheduled for Tuesday.

The wreck could follow her around for years, though. Prosecutors are expected to ask the judge to order Long to pay $111,159.54 for the damage she caused when she rammed the northbound bridge and bounced off the guardrails. That bill could increase over time. By law, defendants are charged 12 percent interest on their financial obligations.

The price tag, submitted by the state Department of Transportation, accounts for the man hours and materials that went into repairing the 86-year-old bridge over the Snohomish River that connects Everett and Marysville.

The crash happened after a short chase. Long was pulled over on Pacific Avenue and Broadway around 12:30 a.m. after a sheriff’s deputy clocked her driving 68 mph in a 35 mph zone.

Long seemed oblivious to the deputy. He had to bang on her window to get her attention. The woman reeked of alcohol. She told the cop she didn’t have insurance because she didn’t have a license. She also admitted she was drunk.

“Well, I’m not going to lie to you, I’m drunk … duh,” she said.

“She had a snarky attitude as if it were all a joke,” the deputy wrote in his report.

The deputy went to his car to check the woman’s license and whether she was wanted on warrant. Long didn’t stick around.

She sped off and led cops on a high-speed chase north on Broadway. Her sport utility vehicle went airborne as she crested the hill north of Hewitt Avenue. She blew through a red light, weaving into oncoming traffic and reaching 97 mph.

She arrived at the bridge and smashed into the guardrail. The SUV bounced off the structure, again going airborne, and spun out of control. Long stopped after hitting the guardrail for a fourth time.

Confronted at gunpoint, she said, “OK. OK. I’m not going anywhere.”

Long admitted what she did was a “bad idea.”

The 2.6-mile chase took about two minutes.

Those couple of minutes added up to hours of frustration for commuters.

State road crews worked around the clock to get the bridge reopened. They had to replace two 30-foot beams — one vertical, the other diagonal. Each beam had to be designed and specially built. The vertical beam was made up of four pieces. One part alone weighed up to 1,000 pounds.

Workers spent about 500 man-hours over three days making the repairs.

The wreck happened on a Saturday. The bridge was still shut down the following Monday. The closure jammed up I-5 during the evening commute. Frustrated with the delay, drivers got off the freeway in south Everett and took city streets northbound to try to get around the freeway backups. That didn’t work and north Everett was a parking lot for hours.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Within an hour, 2 planes crash-land at Paine Field

One simply landed hard and went off the end of a runway. Another crash involved unextended landing gear.

Mill Creek’s Donna Michelson ready to retire at year’s end

The city’s longest-serving council member says she has every intention of staying involved.

Leanne Smiciklas, the friendly lady who served customers of her husband’s Old School Barbeque from a schoolbus parked in front of the Reptile Zoo east of Monroe, has died at 64. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
Without her, beloved BBQ hotspot in Monroe can’t go on

Leanne Smiciklas, who ran the now-closed Old School BBQ along Highway 2 with her husband, died.

Foundation awards grants to Arlington schools

The Arlington Education Foundation on Nov. 13 presented a check to the… Continue reading

Snohomish County firefighters head to California for 18 days

They’re from Fire District 26 in Gold Bar, Getchell Fire and Fire District 7.

State commission reprimands Snohomish County judge for DUI

Judge Marybeth Dingledy had pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a day in jail.

Driver arrested after car strikes pedestrian in Everett

The pedestrian was crossing the road near 12th Street and Broadway. He was injured.

Active Casino Road volunteer honored for work

Molina Healthcare recently honored Jorge Galindo, from Everett, as one of its… Continue reading

Over $12K raised to InspireHER

InspireHER, a local organization that encourages female empowerment, raised over $12,000 at… Continue reading

Most Read