Story Summary

Suspected DUI accidents

In 2012, 38,000 people were arrested for driving impaired, according to the Washington Department of Transportation. In 2011, there were more than 6,000 DUI-related crashes.  Of all the fatal accidents in Washington, more than one-third involved alcohol.

Within a 10-day period in 2013 (from March 25 until April 3), three people in the Seattle area were killed in two separate accidents by suspected drunken drivers. The incidents led to calls for tougher DUI legislation.

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BELLEVUE — A 33-year-old man who allegedly hit a motorcyclist after failing to yield on a left turn Friday night in Bellevue is expected to be charged with vehicular homicide after allegedly admitting he was high on medical marijuana at the time of the accident.

Caleb J. Floyd was involved in an accident that killed 24-year-old Blake Gaston Friday night at the intersection of NE 10th Street and 102nd Avenue NE, court documents show. According to police, Floyd failed yield on a left turn and ran into Gaston, who was traveling westbound on NE 10th Street in an orange 2005 KTM 450 motorcycle.

Following the accident, a drug recognition expert interviewed Floyd and determined he was intoxicated even though he blew a 0.00 blood-alcohol level in a voluntary test. The drug recognition expert asked Floyd if he smoked marijuana, and he allegedly admitted to smoking pot just before the crash.

“I knew you were going to pin this on that,” Floyd allegedly told police.

He was booked and held in King County Jail on suspicion of vehicular homicide. He is expected to appear in King County Court for a bail hearing at 2:30 p.m. Monday.

Local News
09/19/13

Homicide charges filed in meth-fueled wreck

fatal car crash 09-12-13SEATTLE — Vehicular homicide and reckless driving charges were filed Thursday against the man accused in a deadly meth-fueled wreck on I-405 in Bellevue.

According to court documents, Samuel Sampson was weaving around traffic and hitting speeds of more than 120 mph when his car slammed into another car driven by Ian Beckford. Beckford, 22, was killed in the Sept. 12 crash.

Sampson’s wife, who was a passenger in the car, was hurt in the wreck.

Sampson, 27, remains in jail with bail set at $1 million. He will be arraigned Sept. 30 at the King County Courthouse.

fatal car crash 09-12-13SEATTLE — Bail was set at $1 million for a 27-year-old Woodinville man suspected of the fiery three-vehicle crash on Interstate 405 in Bellevue that killed one person and injured two others Thursday night.

Prosecutors said Samuel C. Sampson told police he had taken heroin, meth and methadone and was traveling in excess of 150 mph when the crash occurred on I-405 near Main Street in Bellevue.  The crash killed a 22-year-old Federal Way man, Ian Beckford, the driver of another vehicle that rolled several times and burned. Two other people were injured.

A statement of probable cause released on Monday indicates prosecutors plan to charge Sampson with vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.

A defense attorney, in arguing for lower bail, said Sampson was not a flight risk because he works at Microsoft in Redmond and lives with his wife in Woodinville, but the prosecution said Sampson had resigned from Microsoft two weeks ago and had only moved to this area from New York in April.

BELLEVUE — An attorney representing the driver killed in Thursday night’s fiery I-405 crash near SE 8th St. says the world just lost a treasure.

“Ian had his whole life ahead of him.  He was a kid that loved the outdoors and spent all yesterday at Lake Sammamish water-skiing and swimming,” said family attorney Eric Makus.

fatal car crash 09-12-13Ian Beckford, 22, of Federal Way, was killed on his way home Thursday night.  He was driving south on I-405 near Main Street in Bellevue, when he was hit from behind by a man police say was weaving in and out of traffic at 100 mph.  Beckford’s car flipped, rolled and burst into flames.

“The car was fully involved (with fire) front to back,” said Lt. Richard Burke with the Bellevue Fire Department.  “It took almost all the water out of two engine companies, over 1,000 gallons, to put the fire out.”

State troopers said they believe the driver who hit Beckford, Samuel C. Sampson, 27, of Woodinville, was high on meth.

“Any kind of substance in driving is frightening as all get-out,” said Jan Withers, president of the national Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD.  “The combination of the two together is even worse.  If the person is below the legal limit with the alcohol, drugs in their system really elevate their impairment.”

Withers is in town for an annual charity walk and heard about the deadly crash Friday morning.

“It’s such a preventable crime and this doesn’t need to happen,” said Withers.

She added that Washington’s impaired driving laws are too lax — specifically, that it takes five DUIs to be charged with a felony, and the fact the state doesn’t have sobriety checkpoints.

“This is something the state of Washington could be doing better because we know sobriety checkpoints reduce drunk driving by 20 percent,” she said. “It’s extremely effective because it’s not just catching the drunk drivers, it’s a deterrent.”

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Ian Beckford

She believes lawmakers should do everything possible to make sure drunk or high drivers don’t take any more innocent lives.

“We really lost a treasure,” Makus said of Beckford  “The family would really want everyone to give their kid a big hug tonight because Ian’s not coming home.”

Sampson was taken to Overlake Hospital but is expected to be booked into the King County Jail on vehicular homicide charges.  He also hit two other cars and injured three more people.  Those people reportedly have non-life threatening injuries.

fatal car crash 09-12-13SEATTLE — Jan Withers, the president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, is in Seattle Friday on the heels of a fatal crash believed to be caused by a driver high on methamphetamine.

Washington State Patrol investigators said the alleged impaired driver, Samuel C. Sampson. 27. of Woodinville,  is under arrest for investigation of vehicular homicide. He will be booked into the King County Jail after he is released from Overlake Hospital; the extent of his injuries is unknown.

Witnesses said the driver had been weaving through traffic on I-405 at SE 8th Street at speeds in excess of 100 mph in his Audi around 10 p.m. Thursday when he slammed into the rear of a BMW, causing it to roll several times before catching fire.

The BMW’s driver, Ian Riley Beckford,22, of Federal Way, died at the scene. The BMW and the Audi also hit two other cars, injuring three other people.  According to family attorney Eric Makus, Beckford had spent the day at Lake Sammamish and was heading home when he got hit.

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Ian Beckford, 22, of Federal Way was killed in an accident on Interstate 405 on Sept. 12

Coming up on Q13 FOX News at 4 and 5 p.m. hear from Withers and Makus about this deadly crash and what can be done to keep our roads safe.

fatal car crash 09-12-13BELLEVUE — One person was killed and three were injured shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday in a fiery three-vehicle crash on southbound Interstate 405 near Main Street in Bellevue, the Washington State Patrol said. All southbound lanes of I-405 were blocked.

One vehicle in the crash rolled several times and caught fire, and the driver of the rolled vehicle was trapped in the car as it burst into flames. He died at the scene, the State Patrol said.

Three people in the other two vehicles were injured; the extent of their injuries was not immediately known.

State trooper Chris Webb said the cause of the accident may have been the vehicle that rolled. That vehicle was previously reported as traveling at a high rate of speed, Webb said. That vehicle may have struck the other two vehicles before rolling onto the left shoulder, he said.

Webb added that the accident is being investigated as vehicular homicide, and that another vehicle may have been involved.

Friday morning, Webb said the driver of the car that caused the crash was in the hospital under the guard of troopers and will be booked into jail on his release. The driver is suspected of being under the influence of methamphetamine.

SEATTLE — Members of the Schulte family believe the city of Seattle is to blame for a suspected DUI accident in which a pickup truck hit and killed two elderly pedestrians — Dennis and Judy Schulte — and badly injured the couple’s  daughter-in-law, Karina, and 10-day-old grandson, Elias, in the Wedgwood neighborhood in March.

DANSCHULTE

Dan Schulte shown with his wife, Karina, and their newborn son, Elias, in happier times. Both Karina and Elias were critically injured in the March 25 accident. Dan Schulte’s mother and father (not shown) were killed in the accident. (Photo: Schulte family)

The driver who hit them, Mark W. Mullan, was on probation and under supervision of Seattle Municipal Court after a Dec. 25, 2012, DUI arrest. The Schulte family says the city didn’t do enough to keep Mullan off the road, in particular making sure he had installed a court-ordered ignition interlock device in his pickup truck.

“Mr. Mullan was on his fifth DUI at this point in time.  He was an extreme danger to society and one of the things they do through the Department of Corrections on a state level is require a home visit within 10 days of release and at least two in-person contacts per month.  Had any of those been done, they would have realized he was not in treatment.  He was still driving the same vehicle he had been in without the interlock,” the family’s attorney, John Christensen, said.

This year’s new DUI legislation requires repeat offenders get an ignition interlock device installed within five days of an arrest.  A judge must set a follow-up court date where the driver has to show paperwork proving they complied.

“We can’t afford not to change these laws.  What we hope comes out of this is not only the Schulte family finds some closure but the legislative bodies enforce these laws a little more diligently,” said Christensen.

The city has 60 days to respond to the claim before it’s filed in court.  A spokesperson for the city would not comment on the case.

DANSCHULTE2SEATTLE — Members of the Schulte family believe the city of Seattle is to blame for an April crash that killed Dennis and Judy Schulte and badly injured their daughter-in-law Karina and 10-day-old grandson Elias in the Wedgwood neighborhood.

The driver who hit them, Mark W. Mullan, was on probation and under supervision of Seattle Municipal Court after a Dec. 25, 2012, DUI arrest. The Schulte family says the city didn’t do enough to keep Mullan off the road, in particular, making sure he had installed a court ordered ignition interlock device in his truck.

Katherine Schubert-Knapp, the public information officer for the city’s Risk Management Division, would not comment on the claim. The city has 60 days to respond before a lawsuit is officially filed.

Coming up on Q13 FOX News at 4 and 5 p.m. , hear from the attorney representing the Schulte family.

accidentFEDERAL WAY — A vehicle going too fast off of northbound I-5 at the State Route 18 exit veered off  the road Wednesday and rolled several times, ejecting both the driver and passenger. The passenger died.

Responding crews found a woman, who they believe was driving the vehicle, lying on the road. When they asked her if there was anyone else in the car, she said no, so they treated her and fought a ground fire around the accident, the police said.

After they had the fire out, they found a man, the passenger, lying off the road in some bushes. They attempted CPR but he was pronounced dead at the scene.  They didn’t have an age on the man, but say he was in his mid to late 30s.

The 27-year old woman was taken to a hospital with serious injuries.

Once she’s released from the hospital, police said, she’ll be booked into jail on one count of investigation of DUI vehicular homicide.

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