Charges: Driver was drunk when he hit, killed 73-year-old man

Richard DeFrancesco was on a walk with a friend last year near Lowell Park when he was struck by a car.

EVERETT — A Marysville man has been charged with vehicular homicide in the death of a pedestrian in Everett last year.

Raul Alfaro Gomez, 44, was driving a Mercury Cougar through the Lowell neighborhood around 4:20 p.m. on Jan. 24, 2020. At the same time, two men, including 73-year-old Richard DeFrancesco, were walking along the shoulder of South 2nd Avenue, just outside Lowell Park, according to charging papers filed on April 28 in Snohomish County Superior Court.

DeFrancesco’s friend reported that he saw the Mercury going northbound at a high speed, and instead of curving to the left with the road, the car drove directly at them.

The friend dove to the side. The car struck DeFrancesco. He was propelled into the air and bounced off the windshield and roof of the car before hitting the ground, witnesses reported.

At first, Alfaro Gomez told Everett police officers the two men were crossing the road and that he couldn’t stop in time, according to charging papers.

Officers reported Alfaro Gomez smelled of alcohol, had watery eyes and had trouble walking normally. Alfaro Gomez also reportedly had trouble keeping balance during field sobriety tests.

At one point, Alfaro Gomez reportedly talked to police.

“I am sorry, I didn’t mean to hit him, I deserve this,” he said, according to charging papers.

A nearby home’s security video showed the vehicle driving through the neighborhood. A Mercury Cougar is seen going “noticeably faster” than other traffic. By calculating the time and distance it took the vehicle to drive through, a detective estimated Alfaro Gomez was driving past the home at 74 mph. The speed limit on that stretch is 30 mph.

Using another equation, the detective determined the car was going no slower than 42 mph.

Alfaro Gomez was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, where a blood sample was taken around 9:45 p.m. — more than five hours after the crash. He had a .11 blood-alcohol content level, above the legal limit to drive. He also had 2.9 nanograms per milliliter of active THC in his system, less than the state’s 5 nanogram limit.

DeFrancesco also was transported to Providence. He was unconscious and at one point went into cardiac arrest. He had numerous fractured bones and had a brain bleed.

On Feb. 9, DeFrancesco was taken off life support. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner confirmed that he died from a traumatic brain injury and other injuries suffered from being hit by a car.

According to an obituary, DeFrancesco grew up in Pennsylvania. He moved to California, got a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of California Santa Barbara, and married his wife. When they had a daughter, they moved to Washington.

During his career he had the opportunity to do many things, ultimately finding much joy in his work as a commercial appraiser, the obituary says. “He was very active in church and community and loved racquet sports, automobiles, and kayaking. He and Donna enjoyed traveling and visiting with their many friends, but the greatest joy of his life was spending time with his grandchildren.”

He was survived by his wife and his two daughters, as well as his grandchildren and siblings.

Prosecutors didn’t object to releasing Alfaro Gomez, so long as he shows up to court hearings, doesn’t drive a vehicle for any reason, and doesn’t use alcohol, marijuana or other controlled substances unless validly prescribed.

Alfaro Gomez has no felony convictions on his record, according to charging papers. He was convicted twice of reckless driving misdemeanors: once in 1999, and again in 2012.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.

Talk to us

More in Local News

A resident reported finding a dead Asian giant hornet near Marysville on June 4. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
Dead ‘murder hornet’ found in Marysville, a first for county

It could be from a previous season, scientists say, because males don’t typically emerge this early.

Jeff Thoreson does a cheer with his second grade class before the start of their kickball game on his last in-person day of school on Thursday, June 17, 2021 in Snohomish, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snohomish teacher hit the right notes in memorable career

Jeff Thoreson will retire this month after molding minds at Riverview Elementary School for 41 years.

FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2020, file photo, Staff Sgt. Travis Snyder, left, receives the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine given at Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, south of Seattle. Nurse Jose Picart, right, administered the shot. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday, June 17, 2021, announced a new COVID-19 vaccine incentive lottery for the state's military, family members and veterans because the federal government wasn't sharing individual vaccine status of those groups with the state and there were concerns they would be left out of a previously announced lottery. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
New vaccine lottery announced for military in Washington

Gov. Inslee said there were concerns they would be left out of a previously announced lottery.

Police: After short chase in Marysville, man dies by suicide

Officers responded to a domestic violence call. The suspect reportedly shot himself at the end of a chase.

The Everett Police Department has asked the City Council to keep its nine Stay Out of Drug Areas, zones where people arrested for drug crimes are not allowed. (City of Everett)
Everett police ask council to renew 9 drug enforcement areas

SODAs are a legal tool that prohibits people arrested for drug crimes from entering certain areas.

Sequoia High graduates move their tassels from one side to the other at the end of the graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 17, 2021 in Everett, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Gallery: Sequoia High Graduation

Sequoia High School graduates receive their diplomas

Woman killed in hit-and-run south of Everett is identified

Detectives have been searching for the vehicle that struck Katherine Mueller, 31, of Snohomish.

Pallet communities are groups of tiny homes for unhoused people. Here, a worker installs weatherstripping on a pallet shelter at Pallet in Everett in January 2020. (Kevin Clark / Herald file)
Tiny home community is proposed at a Marysville church

The Pallet shelter community would provide transitional housing to eight people. Neighbors have questions.

In Edmonds, ‘small cell’ deployment permit becomes a big deal

The City Council has allowed new cellular equipment under an ordinance that regulates conditions.

Most Read