Zoey Faye Ensey (Photo provided)

Zoey Faye Ensey (Photo provided)

Stanwood man charged in crash that killed Arlington woman, 26

Prosecutors allege Corey Miller was drunk and driving recklessly on Highway 530 before crashing into Zoey Ensey in 2022.

ARLINGTON — A Stanwood man was drunk when he crashed into and killed an Arlington woman on Highway 530 in 2022, according to new charges filed Thursday.

Around 12:30 p.m. Aug. 6, 2022, Corey Miller sat in his Chevy Avalanche on the shoulder of Highway 530 just west of the bridge over the Stillaguamish River, according to the charges filed in Snohomish County Superior Court. Suddenly, Miller, 54, moved back into the eastbound lane and drove over the bridge.

Witnesses immediately noticed him driving erratically, the charges say. The Avalanche reportedly entered the left turn lane, before swerving back all the way onto the shoulder and hitting the jersey barrier at the edge of the highway. The pickup veered back, overcorrecting into the westbound lane. And then back, through the eastbound lane, striking the barrier again. This time when Miller got off the barrier, he ping-ponged into the westbound lane again and almost hit an oncoming car.

“One witness said it appeared the Avalanche became partially airborne during one of the occasions when it struck the jersey barrier,” deputy prosecutor Tobin Darrow wrote in the charges.

Miller approached the intersection with Arlington Heights Road, where Zoey Ensey, 26, prepared to turn left into the westbound lane of Highway 530 in her Volkswagen Jetta, according to court documents. Miller drove into the right-turn lane dedicated to turning onto Arlington Heights Road.

The intersection has a traffic light, Darrow noted in the charges. The light for highway traffic was red, allowing Ensey to turn left.

But Miller didn’t turn right or stop at the light. Instead, he drove full-speed into the intersection, striking the driver’s side door of Ensey’s Jetta as she turned, prosecutors allege. The crash sent the Jetta some 130 feet from the spot of the crash. Miller’s pickup came to rest on the sidewalk and shoulder of the eastbound side of the highway.

Vehicle data showed the Jetta was going 14 mph, while the Avalanche was going 62 mph at the time of the crash, according to the charges.

Paramedics extricated Ensey from the “contorted” Jetta and took her to Cascade Valley Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy determined she died of multiple blunt-force injuries, including a basilar skull fracture and aortic laceration, according to court papers.

Responders reportedly found Miller unconscious in the Avalanche and took him to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, where staff intubated him. While there, he got an transfusion of two liters of blood. A sample of his blood was taken about three hours after the crash.

Despite the transfusion, his sample still had a 0.096 blood-alcohol content, above the legal limit of 0.08, according to the charges.

On Thursday, almost two years after the crash, Darrow charged Miller with vehicular homicide while under the influence and while driving in a reckless manner. Darrow attributed the delay to the Washington State Patrol not testing the blood sample until last August.

“I prioritized the case over older, less serious (but still serious) cases in order to get this charged with less than average delay,” Darrow wrote in an email Friday. “The situation is a good example of what results when the state patrol, the toxicology office, and the prosecutor’s office are underfunded and understaffed. We are doing the best we can.”

Court records show Miller had two felony convictions more than 20 years ago, including one for drug possession. He also had three misdemeanors for either driving without a license or with a suspended license.

Darrow did not object to Miller remaining out of custody while the case is pending.

Ensey was an Arlington High School graduate who worked at the local Grocery Outlet, an obituary noted. She loved playing games with her friends online, where she was known as Zepharia.

“Zoey was soft spoken, had a kind heart, and a beautiful smile,” the obituary reads. “She had a quick sense of humor and a great laugh. It was in her nature to help people and she enjoyed her job.”

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

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