A man suspected of driving under the influence has been charged with vehicular assault in the June 30 collision in Marysville that severely injured a young woman. (Marysville Police Department)

A man suspected of driving under the influence has been charged with vehicular assault in the June 30 collision in Marysville that severely injured a young woman. (Marysville Police Department)

Driver charged in Marysville crash that broke woman’s neck

Prosecutors: Man with DUI history was high on heroin during crash that injured a 22-year-old woman.

EVERETT — A driver accused of seriously injuring a woman in a Marysville crash last month has been charged in Snohomish County Superior Court with vehicular assault.

Prosecutors allege Allen Roy Denman, 49, was under the influence of heroin on June 30 when he slammed his Porsche Cayenne into the back of a Toyota Corolla on 64th Street NE, at an intersection with Highway 9.

The impact pushed the Toyota into two more vehicles and caused it to spin out into a third, according to police reports. When officers arrived, the Toyota had heavy front and back end damage and was spilling gasoline onto the road.

Sarah Blomquist

Sarah Blomquist

The driver of the Toyota, 22-year-old Sarah Blomquist, of Lake Stevens, was slumped over the center console, semi-conscious and struggling to breathe. Medics extracted her and took her to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett with a broken neck and severe head injuries. In the first 28 hours she underwent three surgeries — one to remove part of her skull, and then to fuse multiple vertebrae in her neck to protect her spinal cord.

A Marysville officer questioned Denman at the scene and noted several signs that he had been using drugs, including watery eyes, constricted pupils, slowed speech and twitching hands. Denman also allegedly had a yellow plastic baggie with a small amount of black tar-like substance, suspected to be heroin. Police received a judge’s permission to get a blood sample from the suspect and submitted it the Washington State Toxicology Laboratory for testing. The results were still pending by the time prosecutors filed charges last Friday.

Denman was in jail Wednesday with bail set at $100,000. Deputy prosecutor Tobin Darrow noted Denman had been convicted of driving under the influence three times. He was charged a fourth time, though that later was reduced to a reckless driving conviction. Darrow wrote Denman’s “persistent impaired driving presents a substantial danger to public safety.”

At the time charges were written, Blomquist was still at the hospital, waiting for a bed in the rehabilitation ward. She’s made progress in her recovery, according to updates provided by the family on a GoFundMe page created to raise money for her medical bills. She’s regained consciousness, and doctors have removed a breathing tube from her neck. In a Tuesday post, her brother, Kevin Birch, wrote that Blomquist can now walk down the hall with the help of a cane.

She also has retained her sense of humor.

“She has been assuring me that I had better tread lightly around her though because if I misstep, she may smack me with the cane a time or two,” Birch wrote. “Just hard enough for me to remain in line.”

Despite her positive spirits, Blomquist’s recovery is going to be “enormously taxing both mentally and emotionally,” Birch wrote.

Before the crash, Blomquist had been working as a bank teller and was studying to become an elementary school teacher. She was set to get married on July 25, in Birch’s backyard.

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

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