Vehicular homicide charged in 2013 crash on Highway 529

EVERETT — A Bellevue man is now charged with vehicular homicide for what investigators say was a drug- and alcohol-fueled crash on Highway 529 last year.

Shawn Wilburn, 55, reportedly told detectives he got lost driving his friend to a hospital after the man apparently overdosed on heroin. Prosecutors allege that Wilburn was high and drunk at the time of the crash.

Kyle Finch, 26, was ejected from Wilburn’s sport utility vehicle June 23, 2013, after it struck a guardrail and rolled several times. The Ford Explorer eventually slid down an embankment and crashed into some trees.

Snohomish County’s medical examiner, Dr. Norman Thiersch, concluded that Finch died from head injuries sustained in the crash. The forensic pathologist said he was reasonably certain that Finch, of Mukilteo, didn’t die of a drug overdose prior to being thrown from the vehicle, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Tobin Darrow wrote.

Wilburn reportedly told police that he suspected Finch used heroin while Wilburn was inside Burger King on Broadway in Everett. He said he noticed that Finch was unresponsive. Wilburn said he tried to drive Finch to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett but became lost. The hospital is about nine blocks north of the fast food restaurant.

Witnesses reported seeing Wilburn drive erratically on northbound Highway 529, swerving in and out of traffic. He drove on the shoulder at times, according to court papers.

One driver said Wilburn’s “eyes looked bulging. He looked like a cartoon character rather than a person.” She said he had a “death grip” on the steering wheel.

Witnesses reported seeing the Explorer hit a guardrail and flip multiple times. Motorists saw Finch ejected from the vehicle.

An off-duty paramedic and Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy found Wilburn in the SUV. They reported that he reeked of alcohol. A paramedic gave Wilburn NarCan, an anti-narcotic medication, and reported that he responded well to the medication.

Once at the hospital, doctors reported that Wilburn appeared under the influence of drugs. A detective wrote in his report that Wilburn fell asleep midsentence and did not seem bothered by his obvious injuries.

Tests revealed that Wilburn’s blood alcohol was over the legal limit, court papers said. He also tested positive for morphine, which can be attributed to how the body metabolizes heroin.

A Burger King employee told detectives that she saw an SUV parked near the restaurant’s garbage cans on the day of the crash. She heard the driver yelling at the passenger to wake up. She also saw him strike the passenger, who was slumped in his seat.

Wilburn reportedly told police he was angry at himself for not calling 911 for Finch.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463, hefley@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @dianahefley

More in Local News

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, is a suspect in the homicide of his roommate. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Stormy weather knocks out power to parts of Everett

About 3,700 PUD customers lost electricity in Snohomish County early Thursday morning.

New leaders coming to county, state political parties

Hillary Moralez of Bothell takes over as chair for the Snohomish County Democratic Party.

Camano Island man gets 18 years for role in drug ring

He was convicted of helping lead a drug distribution network in four Washington counties.

Lake Stevens man missing since beginning of January

Jason Michael Knox White hasn’t used his credit card or withdrawn money from his bank since then.

Deal reached on water bill clears way for action on capital budget

A lot of funding will to go toward housing, schools and projects in Snohomish County and statewide.

Young woman missing from Mukilteo found safe

She called her parents and told them she was at a museum in Seattle.

Navy to put filter in Coupeville’s contaminated water system

Chemicals from firefighting foam was found in the town’s drinking water.

Most Read