Suspect in fatal Lake Stevens crash was drunk, police say

LAKE STEVENS — Police say a Lake Roesiger-area man was drunk when he ran a red light and crashed into another driver on Highway 9 earlier this year.

The other driver, 19-year-old Patrick Wallace of Snohomish, was killed instantly.

It happened in the early hours of May 21 at the intersection of the highway and 20th Street SE in Lake Stevens. The city police department asked the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office to conduct the collision investigation.

Detectives recently forwarded their findings to county prosecutors for potential charges. The detectives are recommending the Lake Roesiger-area man, 32, be charged with vehicular homicide, public records show.

The suspect was southbound on Highway 9 in a Jeep Cherokee not long after midnight. Wallace was eastbound on 20th in a Honda Civic. Multiple witnesses said that Wallace had a green light when he drove into the intersection and was broadsided.

The Jeep driver reportedly told police he had consumed three large beers. He said he thought he had a green light when he proceeded into the intersection. A blood test for alcohol showed a result of .18, more than double the legal limit to drive of .08. A bottle of cinnamon whiskey was found in the Jeep. The blood test also showed recent marijuana use, though the man was within the legal driving limit for that drug, sheriff’s detective George Metcalf wrote in his report.

The detective wrote that he attributed the cause of the crash to the combination of alcohol and pot. “These two intoxicants impaired his ability to react and stop his vehicle,” Metcalf said.

State experts say that when marijuana is seen in impaired driving cases, it is most often in combination with alcohol or illegal drugs.

The man reportedly passed out in the back of a patrol car after getting his blood taken at the hospital.

He and his wife, who was in the passenger seat, were not seriously hurt. The Jeep was traveling an estimated 55 mph about five seconds before the crash. There were no signs of braking, Metcalf wrote.

The newspaper generally does not name suspects of crimes before they are charged in court.

An inspection of the Honda found that “the force of the impact moved the entire driver’s seat over to the passenger side of the vehicle,” Metcalf wrote. “… There was approximately three feet of intrusion.”

Wallace had worked at Arnies Restaurant in Mukilteo. He graduated from Snohomish High School in 2015.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; Twitter: @rikkiking.

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