EVERETT — A Sultan teenager was charged Friday with vehicular homicide and prosecutors allege he was under the influence of drugs when he lost control of his car and drove off U.S. 2.
Madison Whiddon, 17, was killed in the Nov. 12 crash. She was ejected from the car and suffered severe head injuries. Three other teenage passengers were seriously injured when the car launched off an embankment near Sophie Road and rolled multiple times.
Anthony Box, 18, also is charged with vehicular assault for the injuries to the other passengers, including Whiddon’s 14-year-old sister.
Detectives suspect that Box was under the influence of inhalants and possibly marijuana. Witnesses said he and the other teens went to Wal-Mart in Monroe to buy “Dust Off,” which is intended to clean electronic equipment. The product can be abused for a quick high by inhaling, or “huffing,” the fumes.
Detectives were told that the group inhaled some of the fumes before returning to Sultan and Box huffed more as he was driving. Washington State Patrol troopers found two cans of the cleaner inside the car, another near Whiddon and two more cans near the vehicle, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Tobin Darrow wrote.
Box was not seriously injured in the crash. He was taken to Evergreen Hospital, where he allegedly told a trooper that he’d tried inhalants for the first time that day. Based on observations, a trooper also concluded that Box was under the influence of marijuana.
A witness told detectives that she’d smoked marijuana with Box a few hours before the crash.
Box’s blood was taken at the hospital for testing. Court papers do not reveal the results.
Troopers suspect that Box also was speeding, Darrow wrote.
One witness said the car was going “pretty fast” before it drifted off the road and became airborne. Troopers were told that Box appeared to black out before the crash.
Box allegedly told a trooper he only remembered waking up in a ditch.
The defendant remains in the Snohomish County Jail on $100,000 bail.