Update: Charges filed in hit-run crash that killed GT Towing driver

Just in from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office: Charges are now filed against 20-year-old Shavelle Lewis, who had to be released from jail last night (WSB coverage here) because charges hadn’t been filed against her yet for the crash that killed 51-year-old William “Tony” Padilla, a driver for West Seattle-based GT Towing. She is charged with Vehicular Homicide and Felony Hit and Run, and a $150,000 warrant is out for her re-arrest. [Update: Lewis was booked back into jail at 6:23 pm.] We have the charging documents and will transcribe the narrative as soon as possible. ADDED 4:50 PM: The narrative from the charging documents (added in stages but complete as of 5:25 pm), after the jump:

On September 24, 2010, at approximately 1:26 am, Shavelle Lewis was operating a motor vehicle on the entrance ramp from Spokane Street to southbound Interstate 5 … Lewis was driving a white 2000 Ford Explorer bearing Washingotn registration B92944P. The victim, William A. Padilla, was a tow truck operator/driver and was with a one-car collision that WSP Trooper M. Langdon was investigating. The GT tow truck was a 1996 International Wrecker … The vehicle it was hooking up to was a silver 2000 Chrysler Sebring … The entrance ramp to southbound Interstate 5 from Spokane Street was partially blocked by Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for the collision.

Trooper Langdon and a WSDOT employee indicated the WSDOT venhicle was well-lit and was partially blocking the entrance ramp to protect the scene. The WSDOT vehicle was directly behind the Chrystler with its emergency lights activated as well as its arrow board. The arrow board had the four corners flashing on “caution.” The WSDOT employee stated there were flares set out prior to the curve of the entrance ramp and additional flares were directly behind the WSDOT vehicle. As Lewis came around the curve, she lost control of her vehicle and struck Padilla, who was outside his vehicle.

Padilla was on his hands and knees hooking up the Chrysler to the tow truck. Padilla was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel. After striking Padilla and the Chrysler, Lewis’s vehicle rotated across all lanes of Interstate 5 and struck the left jersey barrier. Lewis failed to stop at the scene and render assistance; she continued southbound on Interstate 5 and exited to Michigan Street. Trooper Langdon advised WSP Communications that the running vehicle was a white Ford Explorer.

Within minutes after the collision, Trooper R. Seaburg located the Ford Explorer on the off ramp to Michigan Street. Trooper Seaburg advised the Ford Explorer had damage to the right rear of the vehicle. Trooper Seaburg contacted the Ford and located a female and male outside of the Ford. Trooper Seaburg advised he also observed an odor of marijuana emitting from the Ford as he approached it. Due to both occupants being outside the vehicle, Trooper Seaburg took both occupants into custody. Trooper A. Boyer arrived to assist Trooper Seaburg. The female was idenetified as Shavelle Lewis … Trooper Boyer stated at 1:24 am, Trooper Seaburg read Lewis and (man) their constitutional rights. When asked why they left the scene of the collision, Lewis stated they were “scared and had to pee.” During a search of Lewis, Trooper Boyer located the keys to the Ford Explorer in her right coat pocket. When asked what happened, Lewis stated she was driving the Ford Explorer which was her grandmother’s car. Lewis stated she was struck from behind by a blue pickup as she was merging on to Interstate 5 from the West Seattle Freeway.

Detectives inspected the outside rear of the Ford Explorer and the only damage noted was on the left rear corner of the bumper where it made contact with the left jersey barrier. There was no damage to the rear of the Ford Explorer indicating it had been struck from behind by another ehicle. While talking with Lewis, Trooper Boyer noticed a slight odor of intoxicants emitting from her person. Lewis admitted to having a glass of wine with dinner and stated they had been drinking at a bar and grill but could not remember which one. Lewis complained of neck pain but stated it was only on the left side of her neck and was caused by the seatbelt.

Sergeant K. Triplett contacted Troopers Seaburg and Boyer at the scene where the Ford Explorer was located. Trooper Seaburg advised Sergeant Triplett that both occupants were contacted outside the Ford and located urinating in the bushes by a commercial business. Sergeant Triplett was advised both occupants had been arrested and read their Constitutional Rights. Sergeant Triplett contacted the male, who was in the back of Trooper Seaburg’s patrol car. Sergeant Triplett asked the male how he knew the driver of the Ford and he stated it was his girlfriend. Sergeant Triplett was looking through the driver’s window of the Ford Explorer and observed the driver’s seat position was extremely close to the steering wheel while the passenger seat position was further back. Sergeant Triplett checked with DOC and KCSO Corrections and found out that Lewis is a supervised person. She also found out that Lewis has prior violations of hit and run, prostitution and possession of marijuana and her driving status was suspended and revoked third degree.

Lewis and (man) were transported to Harborview Medical Center for a DRE evaluation and for the blood draw. While at HMC, Trooper D. McDonald spoke with Lewis and asked if she would perform a voluntary DRE evaluation, she stated she would. During the interview process, Lewis advised Trooper McDonald the left side of her neck hurt because she was wearing her seatbelt at the time of impact. Trooper McDonald was unable to observe a seatbelt mark due to the large tattoo that covered the whole left side of her neck. Trooper McDonald noted Lewis’s coordination was poor, her eyes were bloodshot and watery and her speech was fair. Trooper McDonald also noticed an odor of intoxicants on her breath. Trooper McDonald indicated in his report that Lewis was under the influence of alcohol and was unable to safely operate a motor vehicle.

Trooper Boyer took custody of Lewis and she was re-read her Constitutional Rights and the Special Evidence Warning for Vehicular Homicide. Trooper Boyer provided the lab technician with two vials that contained white powdery substance and then observed the blood draw that was performed on Lewis. The blood was placed into WSP evidence system to be analyzed by the WSP Toxicology Lab.

Trooper J. Gannon spoke with (man) and asked if he would perform a voluntary DRE evaluation, he stated he would. During the interview process, (man) admitted to being the passenger in the Ford and stated he was just about to roll a marijuana stick when the collision occurred.


On September 24, 2010, at approximately 1:26 am, Shavelle Lewis was driving a white 2000 Ford Explorer on the entrance ramp from Spokane Street to southbound Interstate 5 when she struck and killed William Padilla. Lewis failed to stop at the scene of the collision and was located and arrested for Felony Hit and Run and Vehicular Homicide. Lewis was read her Constitutional Rights. Lewis admitted to driving and this was verified by the pain caused on the left side of her neck by the seatbelt, the keys to Ford were in her right pocket and seat position for the driver’s seat was that of a shorter stature person. Lewis is 5’7″ and (man) is 6′ 225 pounds. (Man) would not have fit in the driver’s seat with the way it is positioned. Lewis stated she was struck from behind prior to hitting the Chrysler but there is no evidence on the back of the Ford Explorer to indicate this. Lewis stated she knew she had hit something, but she didn’t know what. Lewis admitted to drinking a glass of wine. Troopers observed an odor of intoxicants on Lewis and a blood draw was performed under Special Evidence Warnings for Vehicular Homicide. A DOL check was also done on Lewis which indicated her driving status was suspended third degree.

From the document requesting $150,000 bail:

… The defendant is a flight risk. Since 2008, she has had at least 14 FTAs [failure to appear] Two days before this incident she was arrested on three warrants and had just been released from jail the day before. She claims she lives with her grandmother and a child, and attends vocational school, and is supported by her grandmother.

Her criminal history includes the following: Violation of a SOAP Order (3/18/10), Loitering for Prostitution (6/19/09), Possession Marijuana (6/10/09, 10/19/08) and Prostitution (4/5/08 pending, 9/22/06). She did not have a valid driver’s license, her privilege to drive having been suspended due to her FTAs.

11:23 PM NOTE: Again, as Jay pointed out in comments earlier, Lewis was arrested tonight and booked back into jail. She is scheduled for arraignment at 8:30 am October 13th.

14 Replies to "Update: Charges filed in hit-run crash that killed GT Towing driver"

  • RickSteel September 29, 2010 (4:44 pm)


  • Baba September 29, 2010 (5:13 pm)

    I’m sorry to be repetitious, but them guys and gals at SPD/WSP are not dumb, they are just doing their job(s) to the best of the current laws ability. Thank you, from an employer (taxpayer). Great job!!!

  • Marco September 29, 2010 (5:14 pm)

    Why couldn’t charges be filed, while she was still booked?

  • nulu September 29, 2010 (5:26 pm)

    Hey Marco,
    Excellent question!
    Just check the “date” before today’s “Update”.

  • Garden_nymph September 29, 2010 (5:55 pm)

    While I am glad that charges have been filed, 14 FTAs is incomprehensible! Forget raising parking fees and let’s make these irresponsible people PAY for all the court’s time and energy and additional resources they require as well as restitution.

  • coffee September 29, 2010 (5:56 pm)

    wow, she is really quite something else. Sounds like much more that “a glass of wine” to me.
    Marco, didn’t the Times say today that the charges were filed late which caused her release.

  • Craig September 29, 2010 (6:33 pm)

    A well-deserved kudos to WSB! Thanks for keeping us all informed. Theses stories matter to us and your swift, accurate, and very complete reporting deserves recognition.


  • Deb September 29, 2010 (6:52 pm)

    Oh how awful! When I had a flat on a highway with my 7 yo child in the middle of nowhere the trooper asked why I did not change with spare. Uh, for exactly this reason, and that rental had no flares and there was little pull out area. People are nuts!

  • jay September 29, 2010 (9:15 pm)

    According to King County Jail records, she was arrested again this evening and is back in jail. I’d guess that she was pretty closely watched for the past 24 hours…

    • WSB September 29, 2010 (11:19 pm)

      Thanks for checking on that, Jay, I’ve been offline for a while. 6:23 pm, Lewis was re-booked – TR

  • redblack September 29, 2010 (10:32 pm)

    …a $150,000 warrant is out for her re-arrest.
    … The defendant is a flight risk. Since 2008, she has had at least 14 FTAs [failure to appear] Two days before this incident she was arrested on three warrants and had just been released from jail the day before. She claims she lives with her grandmother and a child, and attends vocational school, and is supported by her grandmother.
    okay. glad she’s in custody now.

  • marty September 30, 2010 (6:54 am)

    A fine citizen! Jail sounds like a good place for her. If she was locked up for her previous violations like she should have been this never would have happened. Sad….

  • lenguamor September 30, 2010 (6:45 pm)

    King County Prosecutors’ ofc is pathetic.

  • Jolyn Jacobs October 8, 2010 (4:51 pm)

    This makes me sick. The laws on hit & run & vehicular homicide / assault are pathetic. My mother & I were ran down on a sidewalk by a drunk driver who had no license, no insurance & no business driving. He was given a sentence of 14 months for two counts of vehicular assault, but did less than 9 months. Also based on the laws, even if he had killed both of us whilst he was drunk driving he would have not gotten much more. If he would have pulled out a baseball bat and bashed my head in causing the facial and head injuries he did with his car that day, he would be in jail for much longer.

    My thoughts and prayers for the Padilla family and I hope this haunts this young lady for the rest of her like.

Sorry, comment time is over.