SEATTLE — A family visiting from Los Angeles had just left their hotel Friday afternoon to go on a short sightseeing walk toward the Fremont neighborhood.
They were going to see the Fremont Troll, the famous sculpture that resides under the Aurora Bridge.
They wouldn’t make it.
Radalyn King, 23, from Brier, was charged Wednesday in King County Superior Court with two counts of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, felony hit and run and reckless driving.
Around 1 p.m. Friday, King was driving a blue Nissan Sentra northbound on Aurora Avenue North, weaving through traffic and going as fast as 80 mph, prosecutors alleged. One witness reported seeing her bounce up and down in the driver’s seat as she swerved around his car.
Near the intersection of North 39th Street, the Nissan reportedly lost control, went up onto the curb and left a path of wreckage, hitting an electronic speed sign and a fire hydrant, dislodging a streetlight, knocking over signs and striking a wooden utility pole before going airborne and slamming into a concrete wall. The car rotated and landed on its side, its engine block having fallen out from the force of the crash.
The car traveled about 250 feet while out of control, a Seattle Police investigation concluded. King’s car was so unrecognizable an arriving officer couldn’t identify its make and model.
Four pedestrians were hit.
Rebecca Richman, 28, described as a recent law school graduate, died at the scene. Her brother, 26-year-old Michael Richman, later died in an emergency room. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office determined their cause of death to be multiple blunt force injuries.
Their father, 63, suffered a broken leg, shattered kneecap, broken pelvis, eight broken ribs and a punctured lung. He has since undergone two surgeries.
Rebecca Richman’s boyfriend, 25, suffered unknown injuries.
People ran to pry the windshield off the Nissan. King reportedly said her baby was still in the car, but no one could find any sign of one in the wreckage. The suspect then grabbed some clothing and a small Christmas tree and walked away, according to court papers.
Witnesses followed her several blocks down the street and pointed her out to police.
When King saw the police, she allegedly ran, but was quickly arrested. While interviewing her, officers suspected she had been using drugs.
“Investigating officers documented several instances where King provided provocative or bizarre responses to direct questions related to the incident,” an investigation report stated.
The suspect reportedly laughed at officers’ questions and refused to participate in sobriety tests. At one point she mentioned that she had a dog in the vehicle, not a baby. A dog was later returned to her mother, according to charging papers.
Police noted King’s watery, dilated eyes and how slow and softly spoken she was. Officers reportedly found a pipe used to smoke methamphetamine in her car, and later learned that she is known to use MDMA, a stimulant and psychedelic drug, according to charging papers. Officers obtained a search warrant for a blood draw, the results of which are still pending.
“She did not appear to understand or care that she had hit pedestrians,” prosecutors wrote.
King allegedly told officers she closed her eyes and intentionally crashed her car, according to an initial police report.
She remained in the King County Jail with bail set at $500,000. She is scheduled to appear for arraignment Dec. 18. She has no known criminal history.
Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; email@example.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.
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