Bellingham driver sentenced for street-racing crash that killed Bothell man

Addison J. Parker, 28, died in the crash in September 2021. The driver got nearly six years in prison last month.


By Denver Pratt / The Bellingham Herald

BELLINGHAM — A Bellingham man who lost control of his car during a street race in late September 2021, resulting in the death of his passenger, will spend the next half-decade in prison.

Oscar Ali Bengoa-Alas, 27, was sentenced April 30 in Whatcom County Superior Court to five years and 10 months in prison for the crash that killed 28-year-old Addison J. Parker, of Bothell.

Bengoa-Alas pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide under the DUI prong of the crime, according to court records.

Bengoa-Alas was originally charged Oct. 1, 2021, with vehicular homicide and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The DUI charge was dropped as part of a plea deal, court documents show.

Bengoa-Alas was given an agreed upon exceptional sentence below state guidelines. His standard prison sentence, based on his criminal history, was between 6½ and 8½ years in prison. The court found that “justice is best served” by a shorter sentence, adding that both attorneys agreed the exceptional sentence was “a central and crucial part of a valid plea agreement between the parties,” court documents state.

As part of Bengoa-Alas’ sentencing, he will be required to undergo an evaluation for substance use disorder and comply with any recommended treatment. He also will not be allowed to consume or possess alcohol while on probation.

Bengoa-Alas will also be required to pay $1,463.36 in restitution to the state Crime Victims Compensation Fund.

Around 8:46 p.m. Sept. 28, 2021, witnesses reported a street race that ended when one vehicle lost control and crashed into a tree, court documents state. Police were called to the intersection of Woburn, Yew and Iowa streets in the Roosevelt neighborhood in Bellingham.

At the scene, Bellingham police found Bengoa-Alas bleeding from his face with injuries consistent with hitting the bridge of his nose on a steering wheel. Bengoa-Alas was near a silver Dodge Charger that had overturned.

Police believed the vehicle had been eastbound on Yew Street and driving at “an excessively high rate of speed,” court records state.

Parker was found severely injured in the passenger seat of the vehicle. He was pronounced dead on scene within 20 minutes by emergency medical personnel. Parker was wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash, the documents show.

Bengoa-Alas initially denied driving the vehicle, but later told police he could not remember what had happened. Several witnesses told police they saw two vehicles racing, including the Charger, and at least one witness saw the crash. That witness told police they saw Bengoa-Alas being helped out of the Charger after the crash by occupants in the other racing vehicle, according to court records.

Bengoa-Alas admitted to officers that he had “quite a bit” to drink that night, and was later found to have been driving with a license suspended in the third degree.

Police later determined Bengoa-Alas was the driver of the Charger and Parker was the only other passenger in the car at the time of the crash, court documents show.

Bengoa-Alas was taken to PeaceHealth St. Joseph’s hospital in Bellingham for treatment of his injuries before he was booked into the Whatcom County Jail.

He was released from jail on Oct. 1 on a $5,000 cash alternative bond and remained out of custody on bond until his sentencing late last month, court and jail records show.

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