Driver in wrong-way crash on I-5 had 6 DUIs, suspended license

EVERETT, Wash. — The man suspected of drunken driving in the wrong-way crash on Interstate 5 in Snohomish County near Arlington that killed one person has had six previous DUIs, including two in the past 10 years, and was driving on a suspended license, court documents said Monday.

The driver in a 1991 Ford Explorer got on I-5 at 116th Street NE going the wrong way just after 4 p.m. Sunday. The 56-year-old driver from Tulalip then caused four crashes as he headed northbound in the southbound lanes, the Washington State Patrol said. One person died when the Ford collided head-on with a Toyota Corolla, just south of Highway 530, in Arlington.

Probable cause documents filed in Snohomish County said the driver had two prior DUIs in the past 10 years and four additional ones outside 10 years. His license was suspended since March for reckless driving and he was required to have an ignition interlock inside his vehicle. The State Patrol said there was no such device in his Explorer.

Immediately after Sunday’s crash, a State Patrol trooper “observed open containers of alcohol inside the defendant’s vehicle” and the trooper “detected a strong odor of intoxicants emitting from the defendant’s vehicle,” the probable cause documents said.

“The defendant informed Trooper Jacobsen that he drank a lot. At this time Trooper Jacobsen observed the defendants’ speech to be slurred.”

According to a Snohomish County officer cited in the probable cause documents, the defendant did not know at first why he was in the hospital and said he had no idea why he was driving in that area and “stated he had no reason to leave his home.”

“The defendant was cleared medically and while he was being unhooked from the machines I advised him that the sticky tabs were going to hurt coming off. The defendant stated, ‘It’s not going to hurt as bad as living with this.'”

The person killed in the crash was identified as Miriam, Robinson, 28, of Albany, Oregon. She was a passenger in the Corolla.