Here’s what we have in Crime Watch so far today:
DEADLY BRIDGE CRASH FOLLOWUP: We’re continuing to watch for the next steps in last Wednesday morning’s West Seattle Bridge crash, which took the lives of two 18-year-olds. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says the preliminary investigation has been forwarded to them for review for potential charges. The suspect has yet to appear in court, though, because he remains in the hospital, and a KCPAO spokesperson says their understanding is that it might be “a week or two” before he gets out – at which time police say he will be transferred to the King County Jail.
CHARGES IN ANOTHER VEHICULAR HOMICIDE CASE: The KCPAO has charged a 21-year-old man in another crash that killed two people – this one on snowy southbound I-5 by the West Seattle Bridge around 3 am February 26th. The two men who died were in a car that had hit another car, and after those two cars came to a stop on the freeway, the victims’ car was hit by a third car whose driver is identified by prosecutors as Antonio M. Lopez of Renton. He and his girlfriend were in the car, investigators learned, but walked away from the scene while responders were tending to the victims – 34-year-old Skyler Thorton and 38-year-old Terrell Aaron – and to another driver who survived but had injuries. Lopez, believed to have been driving 70 mph at the time of the crash, is now charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and one each of vehicular assault and felony hit-run. And it turns out he was charged in a vehicular homicide case – a crash that killed a teenager – six years ago, when he was 15 years old. (The court documents do not say how that was resolved but we’re researching it.) His current whereabouts remain unknown.
PARKING-RAGE HATE CRIME: This happened Friday, but we didn’t hear about it until the police summary was made available today. Around 7 pm Friday, two drivers collided while trying to park on Alki Avenue SW near 54th. Police say the two got out of their vehicles and that “the suspect attacked the victim (who) left in his vehicle, and the suspect followed in their own vehicle. While the suspect was chasing the victim, they yelled, ‘You are not a citizen’ and ‘Go back to your country’.” Police say the victim, who they describe as being “of Mexican descent,” believes he was assaulted because of his race/ethnicity. The suspect was pulled over near Don Armeni and then booked, police say, for hate crime and DUI. The 31-year-old suspect is not yet charged; the jail docket indicates he was there from Friday night until Sunday morning.