MONROE — Prosecutors last week charged a man in a car crash that left one passenger dead north of Monroe.
The man, 18, of Monroe, faces one count of vehicular homicide while driving with disregard for the safety of others. Because he was 17 at the time of the crash, prosecutors are charging him as a juvenile. Generally, The Daily Herald does not name criminal defendants who are charged as juveniles.
Around 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 16, a black Honda Civic left the roadway and collided with trees at the intersection of 215th Avenue SE and 108th Street SE northeast of Monroe, according to the charges. Police responding to a 911 call found the Honda pinned on its side against a large tree, with a passenger trapped inside.
Firefighters reportedly had to cut open the car to free the passenger, Szander Pouv. He was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett with critical injuries.
Pouv suffered a traumatic brain injury and died five days later, on Jan. 21. He was 20.
The driver was also injured and taken to EvergreenHealth Monroe, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies questioned him at the hospital, court papers said. He reported he was driving 45 mph when he swerved to avoid a deer.
Another passenger, who was also taken to the hospital, told authorities the same thing, the charges say. Officers told the passenger the severity of the crash meant they may have been going faster. The passenger told them he wasn’t sure because he was looking at his phone.
A two-lane undivided road, 215th Avenue SE has a speed limit of 35 mph, according to the charges. The intersection with 108th Street SE is a curve marked with a caution sign recommending drivers slow to 15 mph.
Officers at the scene noticed tire imprints in the dirt off the roadway. Detectives found scuff marks on the road that suggested the Honda may have been going upwards of 50 mph when it veered off the street, began to roll and crashed into the tree, according to prosecutors.
There was no indication the driver tried to brake at any point, detectives wrote.
Pouv graduated from Monroe High School in 2020 and attended Lake Washington Institute, according to an obituary. He founded the “BeaKind” project and clothing brand, focused on “motivating others to do random acts of kindness through his artwork.”
“Szander’s time was cut short here on Earth, but he still lives on through others,” the obituary said. “While we may not see him, we can still feel him. In the sounds of a skateboard rolling by. In guitar strings strummed. In each Seattle raindrop. In every kind thing we do, he’s there. At a young age, many of us are told to listen to the little angel sitting on our shoulder. Szander is that angel; motivating us to do better.”
Arraignment is set for April 3.
Jonathan Tall: 425-339-3486; email@example.com; Twitter: @EDHJonTall.
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