(WSB reader photo from Tuesday crash, courtesy Raquel)
The man who flipped his car on the eastbound West Seattle Bridge Tuesday afternoon is a repeat drunk driver who is in jail right now, bail set at $100,000. He and his 1-year-old daughter, who was in the back seat, escaped injury, as did the people in the three other cars involved, according to Seattle Fire. But police soon discovered that he was wanted on a warrant, which is why we’re identifying him as 32-year-old Christopher T. Martin of Renton.
According to the documents from his bail hearing this afternoon, Martin first told police the crash happened because he was passing a snack to his daughter, then later said he wasn’t sure why he crashed. Police also say he first told them he had been driving a gray Honda, when in reality he had been driving a red Ford. Police said he smelled of alcohol, and that he told them he had consumed one alcoholic drink 5 or 6 hours earlier, and also smoked “a bowl” of marijuana. They discovered Martin had a warrant for failing to appear in connection with a drunk-driving case that happened downtown three years ago; we looked up that case and found he had taken a breath test that showed him at three times the legal drunkenness level, and that his record at that time showed two DUI arrests in 2010 and two in 2003. Prosecutors wrote at that time that Martin “either cannot or will not refrain from driving impaired and is a grave danger to the community.” The case remains unresolved because of his failure to appear, for which an arrest warrant was issued in September 2012. (He had been allowed out on work release weeks after his May 2012 arrest.)
The new court documents also say he was driving despite a suspended driver license. According to Seattle Fire, neither Martin nor his toddler were hurt in the crash. King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe says a judge found probable cause to hold Martin for investigation of reckless driving, reckless endangerment, and negligent driving while prosecutors review the case for potential charges; he’s due back in court on Friday.