Everett police officers on the scene of a single-vehicle collision on Evergreen Way and Olivia Park Road Wednesday, July 5, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Photo provided by Everett Police Department)

Everett police officers on the scene of a single-vehicle collision on Evergreen Way and Olivia Park Road Wednesday, July 5, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Photo provided by Everett Police Department)

Man accused of driving on drugs in deadly Evergreen Way crash

Hunter Gidney was charged with vehicular homicide in the crash that killed his passenger, Drew Hallam, in Everett.

EVERETT — An Everett man was charged last week with driving high in a July crash on Evergreen Way that killed his passenger.

Hunter Gidney, 25, was driving a Cadillac Escalade southwest on Everett Mall Way early on a clear sunny morning, July 5, according to vehicular homicide charges filed Thursday in Snohomish County Superior Court.

A driver stopped behind the Escalade at the intersection with 4th Avenue, and they both waited for the red light, the charges say. When it turned green, the witness observed the Escalade continue southwest, but as it approached the intersection with Evergreen Way, it sped up.

As Everett Mall Way approaches Evergreen Way, it curves to the right, with a curbed traffic island separating the traffic entering Evergreen from the traffic entering Everett Mall Way. On the traffic island are two traffic light poles, court documents said.

A witness saw Gidney continue to drive in a straight line, over the curb and directly into one of the poles, the charges say. The pole hit near the passenger side, forcing the Escalade to rotate around the pole and causing “massive damage” to the front end of the car, according to detectives.

The impact reportedly stripped the hood off, crushed the passenger side, shattered the steering wheel and launched the exposed engine onto the ground.

A fellow motorist, who was an emergency room nurse, stopped to help, according to the charges. Gidney exited the Escalade and she tried to examine him, but he “insisted he needed to see his own face and would not comply with her request to be seated,” according to the charges. He also reportedly told the nurse he needed to get things out of the Cadillac.

Meanwhile, the passenger, Drew Hallam, was dying. By the time paramedics arrived, he had died. He was 32.

Gidney reportedly told police he didn’t know how he collided with the pole.

Police arrested Gidney. While searching him, they noticed tinfoil with white powder in his pockets, a makeshift pipe and fentanyl pills, according to the charging papers.

The defendant denied using drugs, but officers “saw his eyes had pinpoint pupils and were red,” a potential side effect of opioid use, detectives wrote.

Gidney was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. Officers noticed the defendant was “lethargic” and struggled to keep his eyes open, according to court documents.

As of late July, the state toxicology laboratory planned to “expedite” the testing of his blood sample, according to court records.

Gidney was arraigned Friday, and at the same hearing, Superior Court Judge Cindy Larsen reduced bail from $100,000 to $50,000. The defendant remained in Snohomish County Jail on Tuesday.

An obituary published in The Daily Herald remembered Hallam as a “fierce athlete” with a passion for competition and adrenaline.

“Drew loved his family deeply,” the obituary said. “There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for those he loved.”

Jonathan Tall: 425-339-3486;jonathan.tall@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @EDHJonTall.

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