MARYSVILLE – A 27-year-old man is in critical condition at Harborview after he was involved in a bizarre accident overnight. Washington State Troopers say he was intoxicated and jumped from a moving vehicle. They believe the teen who was driving may also have been high on marijuana.
Troopers are patrolling all the highways in Washington State this holiday weekend looking for impaired drivers. They say they have zero tolerance for drivers who are high. So even though the driver in this case may not have been responsible for the accident, if it’s found that she was under the influence, she will face very serious charges.
Investigators say a 16-year-old from Stanwood was behind the wheel of a Chevy Tahoe, when it was involved in an accident along Highway 9 near Marysville early this morning. They believe there were 10 people inside the truck at the time.
“I don’t know the specific number of children in there,” says Trooper Mark Francis. “But there were more people in there than there were seatbelts.”
The driver’s 27 year old uncle, Steven Weldon, was in the front passenger seat. Investigators say he had been drinking and arguing with his wife. He jumped out while the truck was going around 55 miles an hour, hitting his head on the ground and causing a chain reaction crash involving two other vehicles.
When Q13 Fox News reached the driver by phone, all she would say was that it was a crazy accident. But troopers believe drugs may have been a factor.
“We believe she was under the influence of marijuana,” says Francis. “Tests and further investigation will determine if that is indeed the case.”
Troopers say getting high and getting behind the wheel is just as dangerous as drinking and driving. But people who live near the accident say not enough is being done to spread the word about the effects of marijuana, especially to young people.
“I would think there’s more alcohol availability than marijuana, but it’s still a problem,” says Lennox Smith. “I still think we need to do more education.”
“I’m fine with it being legalized, I think it should have been,” says Susan Anthony. “But it’s like everything else, you have to be the appropriate age to use those things. And then you have to be responsible”
At last check, Steven Weldon was still in critical condition at Harborview and a passenger in one of the other vehicles was being treated for a broken leg. So the driver could be facing charges of vehicular assault, as well as DUI.