Dakotah Allett speaks with his lawyer before being sentenced on Wednesday, Dec. 28, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Dakotah Allett speaks with his lawyer before being sentenced on Wednesday, Dec. 28, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Marysville man gets almost 3 years in deadly Everett crash

Dakotah Allett pleaded guilty to killing Jane Costello, 57, when he crashed into two cars on the shoulder of I-5 in 2019.

EVERETT — A week after the three-year anniversary of Jane Costello’s death, a Marysville man was sentenced Wednesday to almost three years in prison for hitting and killing her on the side of I-5.

When criminal charges were filed last year, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Tobin Darrow said it was the most unusual traffic case he’d handled in a decade.

Last month, Dakotah Allett, 28, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and vehicular assault in Costello’s death. In a plea agreement, the vehicular homicide charge was downgraded from driving while under the influence to driving “with disregard for the safety of others.”

Around midnight on Dec. 21, 2019, Costello ran out of gas while driving her GMC Terrain south on I-5, according to charging papers filed in Superior Court. She parked the SUV on the shoulder just north of Highway 526 and texted a friend for help. Her car battery died, too.

Two friends brought gasoline and parked their GMC Sierra behind the Terrain. They put the gas in Costello’s SUV. When the car wouldn’t start, one went to raise the hood to charge the battery. Costello stood near the back of the Terrain.

Meanwhile, Allett was on I-5 southbound in his dad’s Chevy Silverado, weaving in and out of the right lane, a witness noticed. At one point, Allett veered onto the shoulder and almost drove off the pavement before correcting back into the right lane. Assuming he was drunk, the witness honked her horn to encourage Allett to pull over.

Soon after, Allett crossed the fog line, drove onto the shoulder and struck the back of the Sierra, pushing it into the Terrain, prosecutors alleged. The crash shoved both the Sierra and the Terrain about 60 feet on the shoulder.

The impact knocked over the friend working on the battery and bloodied her face. She suffered broken bones in her face. The other friend was jostled inside the Terrain.

The two friends found Costello, 57, in the grass, 10 feet from the Sierra, with no pulse.

Costello is believed to have died from a ruptured berry aneurysm, where she had a weak spot in one of the arteries in her skull. The crash contributed to the rupture, according to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Washington State Patrol troopers found Allett in the Silverado appearing disoriented. He told them traffic had suddenly stopped in front of him and there was nothing he could do. A blood test found fentanyl and a very small amount of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

In court Wednesday, Allett apologized to the victims for the crash.

“I didn’t mean to, and I know nothing I say can make their loved one come back or make them feel any better,” he said.

Since the crash, Allett, who had no prior criminal history, has undergone treatment for his substance use, he noted.

Under state sentencing guidelines, the defendant faced between 26 and 34 months in prison. At sentencing Wednesday, the prosecution and defense agreed to recommend the high end of that range.

Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Janice Ellis heeded that recommendation, telling Allett he could’ve faced much more prison time under the original charge. She called it the opposite of a “raw deal.”

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; jake.goldstein-street@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

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