Days after guilty plea in fatal crash, driver faces new DUI

He killed Khanh Tran in a 100 mph crash. This week, he allegedly was slumped over in his SUV, in traffic.

EVERETT — Two weeks ago, Joshua Krueger pleaded guilty to killing a man while zooming down a 30 mph street in Lynnwood at a speed that eyewitnesses, including Krueger, estimated at 100 mph.

He admitted he’d been under the influence of drugs, that he drove recklessly, and that he ran away from the wreckage while the other man, Khanh Tran, 66, died.

After he pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and hit-and-run of a fatality, Krueger remained out of jail as he awaited a suggested sentence of almost 10 years in prison. That hearing was set for Nov. 4.

Around 8:20 p.m. Wednesday, a sheriff’s deputy saw a 2006 Land Rover stopped in a lane of Highway 99, near an intersection with a green light. Other cars were driving around the SUV. Police saw the driver, Krueger, slumped over with his foot on the brake, according to police reports filed in court Thursday.

The gear shifter was still in drive. A deputy opened the door, shut off the engine and put the Land Rover in park. The deputy grabbed the keys and woke the sweating man, 30, who “appeared very animated and startled,” according to the report.

Krueger, of Kenmore, reportedly told the deputy he hadn’t been drinking or using drugs. As they talked, he rocked back and forth on the bumper of the patrol car and would not sit still, the deputy wrote.

The deputy arrested Krueger for investigation of driving under the influence, a felony offense because of his recent vehicular homicide conviction.

In the fatal crash from January, Krueger was driving a Jaguar XE. An Edmonds police officer watched him barrel through a stop sign on 72nd Avenue at 40-plus mph. The officer chased Krueger, but lost sight of him as the car accelerated north on 76th Avenue W.

As the officer slowed his car, he saw a plume of smoke over the crest of a hill. Krueger had crashed into a Chevy Aveo that was turning left out of a QFC parking lot, slamming into the driver’s side of the Chevy. The Jaguar crashed with such force that it rotated, went airborne and landed on the hood of a Jeep Patriot. No one was sitting in the parked Jeep.

Krueger ran into the QFC, rushed through the store, and tried to escape by running to a loading dock. An officer outran him. Krueger was arrested. Inside his jacket pocket, police found a hollowed-out pen with a sticky brown substance that appeared to be heroin.

Tran died in the ambulance on the way to Harborview Medical Center.

Krueger posted $200,000 bond in March.

He pleaded guilty Aug. 28, in front of Superior Court Judge David Kurtz.

In the plea agreement, deputy prosecutor Tobin Darrow suggested nine years and 11 months behind bars. Defense attorney Christine Olson noted in the court papers that she would ask a judge for less prison time at sentencing in November.

Court records show Krueger has a criminal record of possessing a stolen firearm, being a minor operating a motor vehicle after consuming an intoxicant, a DUI that was reduced to reckless driving, driving with a suspended license and drug possession.

This week when he was arrested, police searched the Land Rover. They recovered foil “that appeared to be used for narcotics,” court records say. Deputies were granted a warrant to draw Krueger’s blood, to test for drugs and alcohol, again.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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