Two vehicles rolled over on Aug. 15, 2020, on Highway 522. (Snohomish County Fire District 7)

Two vehicles rolled over on Aug. 15, 2020, on Highway 522. (Snohomish County Fire District 7)

Shoreline woman charged with ‘reckless’ homicide in deadly Monroe crash

Prosecutors allege Addele Wells was driving erratically when she crashed into an Audi, killing Megan Barney, 24, in 2020.

MONROE — A witness described the crash as an explosion that sent one car straight into the air.

Prosecutors allege Addele Wells, now 56, caused the collision on Highway 522 that killed Megan Barney and seriously injured another person in 2020. She was charged last week with one count each of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.

Around 3:40 p.m. Aug. 15, 2020, another woman was driving east on the highway when she noticed a Kia Sorrento driving close behind, appearing to try to collide into her, according to the charging papers filed this month in Snohomish County Superior Court. The Kia would slow down out of nowhere before accelerating again almost into the woman’s car. The Kia was also swerving between the two eastbound lanes.

The woman’s passenger reportedly called 911 and she got off the highway. She was worried the Kia would cause a crash.

Many others alerted authorities to the Kia’s erratic moves. As Highway 522 became a two-lane road, witnesses saw the Kia cross the median into oncoming traffic multiple times. One saw at least two near misses as the Kia drifted into traffic. Another wondered if the driver was “inebriated or suicidal,” according to the charges.

One driver said he tried to let the Kia pass him, but instead it swerved off the shoulder, driving with all four tires on the grass, according to court documents. Amid a chorus of honking horns, the Kia then weaved from the grass, across the eastbound lane and into oncoming traffic.

Later, that witness reported seeing the Kia’s driver banging her fist on the dashboard before yanking her steering wheel to the left, striking a westbound Audi. Both the Kia and the Audi reportedly came to rest upside down. Engine compartments of both cars were “obliterated,” deputy prosecutor Tobin Darrow wrote in the charges. Debris scattered across the road.

Wells, of Shoreline, was the Kia’s only occupant, prosecutors allege. She was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. State troopers found broken wine bottles near her car.

At the hospital, a trooper noted her eyes were bloodshot and her speech slurred. A sample of her blood was taken. But when the test results came back in August 2021, no alcohol or drugs were detected, according to the charges.

Barney’s boyfriend was driving the Audi that day. He broke his femur and part of his spinal cord, according to court documents. He underwent multiple surgeries, including to use a nail to reconnect and align his femur.

Barney was the passenger in the Audi. She died days later at Harborview from the injuries she suffered in the crash. She was a few weeks shy of her 25th birthday.

A Monroe High School and Eastern Washington University grad, she loved dogs, hiking, snowboarding and spending time with her family, an obituary noted.

Prosecutors accused Wells of operating a motor vehicle “in a reckless manner” leading to the fatal crash — not that she was under the influence. The charges don’t offer a theory about why the defendant was driving dangerously that afternoon.

The deputy prosecutor didn’t object to Wells remaining out of custody as long as she only drives with a valid license and insurance. She has no prior felonies or misdemeanors, according to court records. No defense attorney was listed in her case file.

Wells is set to be arraigned Aug. 29.

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

Talk to us

More in Local News

A family of four escaped a fire in their home's garage without injuries Saturday night in Brier. (South County Fire)
Brier family escapes harm after fire in garage

The two-story house in the 22800 block of Brier Road had an estimated $150,000 in damages, per South County Fire.

A woman was injured in an attack Sunday at Clark Park in Everett. (Everett Police Department)
Woman injured after attack at Clark Park in Everett

The woman was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett for her injuries, which were not considered critical.

Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney in a video decries an erosion of public safety and increase in brazen criminal behavior. (Screenshot)
Snohomish County sheriff, chorus of local leaders decry policing reforms

Criminals are getting more brazen, they said. In a video, they called for easing vehicle pursuit rules and stiffening drug laws.

Attorney Michael Andrews, left, and Kyle Brown listen to the judge's address Wednesday afternoon at the Snohomish County Superior Courthouse in Everett, Washington on September 21, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Marysville ex-youth minister gets community service for sexual assault

Kyle Brown, of Marysville, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault with a sexual motivation last month. In 2019, he was charged with molestation.

A semi truck blows smoke out of its exhaust pipes while driving southbound on I-5 on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Reader: Did a tractor-trailer cover my car in diesel soot?

Probably not, according to a Department of Ecology spokesperson, since diesel emissions are getting “cleaner.”

Phyllis Hopkins, left, and Debbie Wetzel at the site of the Cathcart Crossing project on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022 in Cathcart, Washington. Hopkins is one of 13 neighbors who was left out of the loop about a public hearing and comment period for the proposed development, an appeal alleges. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Neighbors appeal 286 townhomes off Highway 9 in Cathcart

Residents are protesting what they say is a lack of transparency. The Snohomish County Council will hear their appeal Oct. 5.

Alderwood Water & Wastewater District water quality tech assistant Matt Williams looks at the clarity of a water sample taken from the artesian well located along164th Street on Monday, April 2, 2018 in Lynnwood, Wa. The well," also known as Well No. 5 or the 164th Street Artesian Well is in excess of 400 feet in depth and flows at a rate of about 10 gallons per minute. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Water district keeps leadership, for now, despite staff woes

Investigations found Alderwood General Manager Dick McKinley broke ethics rules, more than once.

Snohomish County vital statistics

Marriage licenses, dissolutions and deaths.

On Aug. 30, Everett police posted this photo to Facebook seeking tips about an alleged fatal hit-and-run. (Everett Police Department)
Woman arrested in hit-and-run death of Everett pedestrian

Patricia Oman, 80, was walking on Broadway when she was hit. She died four days later. The alleged driver was held on $100,000 bail.

Most Read