Patrol probing fatal I-5 wreck

MARYSVILLE – A passenger in a car that crashed while it raced another vehicle on I-5 remained in serious condition Monday in Harborview Medical Center’s intensive care unit in Seattle.

David A. Gutierrez, 21, of Glide, Ore., was riding in a car driven by Mark D. Eaves, 19, of Everett about 7:45 p.m. Friday northbound on I-5.

The car slammed into a support pillar for the 116th Street NE overpass, crossed the median and collided with a truck in the southbound lanes.

Eaves died at the scene, and Gutierrez was airlifted to the Seattle hospital.

Two occupants of the truck suffered no serious injuries, State Patrol trooper Lance Ramsay said.

The other driver, 19, whose name and hometown have not been released, stopped his car about 100 yards past the crash and talked to investigating troopers, Ramsay said Monday.

“He’s not being charged at this point with anything,” he said. “The detectives have to talk to a bunch of the witnesses to see what his involvement is.”

Witnesses told investigators that Eaves and the driver of the other car were racing when the crash occurred.

“They’re not your typical tricked-out street racers with the souped-up vehicles and the advertisements and the wings,” but Eaves and the other driver knew each other, Ramsay said.

The investigation is likely to take several weeks as detectives await information and toxicology results from the Snohomish County medical examiner, he said.

Investigators don’t know whether alcohol was a factor. They also are investigating a bag of what appeared to be marijuana in Eaves’ lap, Ramsay said.

“I don’t know if (the technicians) have done their testing on it or not, but through my experience, it looked as if it were marijuana, and it smelled as if it were marijuana,” Ramsay said.

State Department of Transportation personnel checked the pillar that Eaves’ car struck when it plowed up a dirt embankment in the median. The pillar was undamaged, Ramsay said.

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