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; Twitter: @zachariahtb.

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