EVERETT — More than two years later, a Lynnwood man has been charged with vehicular homicide in a south Everett crash that killed his 5-year-old daughter and a 25-year-old community college student, and paralyzed a third passenger.
Snohomish County Superior Court has issued a $1 million warrant for the arrest of the defendant, Jakob Torres, 30. He had not been booked into the Snohomish County Jail as of Friday afternoon.
Snohomish County prosecutors allege Torres was drunkenly driving an Acura on Jan. 27, 2019. A little after 9 a.m., witnesses reported seeing him speeding through the intersection on Evergreen Way and 112th Street SW.
Detectives calculated the speed of the vehicle using security video from nearby businesses, estimating the Acura was going at least 91 mph, and as fast as 106 mph.
The speed limit on that stretch of road is 35 mph, deputy prosecutor Tobin Darrow noted in charging papers.
Torres’ Acura went flying, witnesses reported.
As the car landed, it rotated counterclockwise and slid passenger-side first over the sidewalk, knocking a cast iron fire hydrant off of its foundation and launching it 100 feet away.
The Acura then slammed into a utility pole, splitting the car in half.
The rear half came to a stop and caught fire.
The front half struck a nearby tree and ricocheted back into the roadway.
A witness ran to help. He retrieved a 5-year-old girl who was in a booster seat in the back.
On the ground between the two halves of the car was Torres and another passenger, Alemayehu Derege.
Derege died at the scene. He was going to community college, Darrow said.
Torres and his daughter, Izabella Torres, were transported to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett.
The girl was soon pronounced dead.
Snohomish County Medical Examiner Dr. J. Matthew Lacy confirmed Izabella Torres and Derege died from injuries related to the crash, including severe head trauma.
Another passenger also was seriously injured and was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. A surgeon noted she suffered a “fairly devastating spinal cord injury,” leaving her paraplegic.
According to charging papers, Jakob Torres told a medic he was the driver, and that his “foot slipped.”
In the emergency room, an officer asked Torres several times what happened.
Eventually, Torres responded with a single word.
Someone who knew Torres also was at the hospital. According to her, Torres relayed that he hit a dip in the road, causing him to lose control of the car.
A sample of Torres’ blood was obtained a little after 12:37 p.m., after a judge’s authorization. It showed a 0.06 blood-alcohol content level. According to Darrow, the average dissipation rate of alcohol is 0.015 per hour.
Jakob Torres suffered from two fractures in his spine, as well as “numerous other injuries,” according to charging papers.
In October 2019, traffic detectives went to the house of the passenger who lived. She was in an electric wheelchair when she answered the door.
The woman refused to talk about the collision. During their conversation, her caregiver handed a phone to a detective.
It was Jakob Torres’ father, yelling, according to court papers. As the detective handed the phone back, he could hear the father telling the caregiver not to say anything.
Previously, Torres was convicted twice of driving under the influence, in Hawaii in 2010 and 2013. He was accused of DUI again in 2016, and entered deferred prosecution to avoid charges.
He was still on probation for the deferred prosecution when he crashed, Darrow said.
Darrow didn’t have an update on Jakob Torres’ condition, or his whereabouts. As far as he knew, the defendant was still alive.
“But if the defendant is capable of driving in any way,” Darrow wrote, in arguing for $1 million bail, “the state believes he represents an extreme danger to the public.”