The driver police say was high on crystal meth before a March 2016 collision with a Metro bus on Broadway has been charged this week with vehicular homicide for the death of a backseat passenger inside the mangled PT Cruiser.
Prosecutors say Kevin Arrington, 38, was driving with a suspended license, admitted to taking crystal methamphetamine, and was looking at his cellphone when the vehicle he was driving slammed into the back of a Metro bus on Broadway just before Denny on March 8th. The driver and the owner of the car riding in the front seat suffered non life-threatening injuries and the bus driver suffered a knee injury in the rush hour crash. Though police said he was wearing a seatbelt as he sat in the car’s backseat, 44-year-old Chad Rogers suffered a “catastrophic spinal cord injury.” Rogers died 11 days later.
CHS reported on the immediate aftermath of the crash that tangled traffic on Broadway around 5 PM on a busy March Tuesday.
According to police, witnesses said the PT Cruiser was traveling around 34 MPH when Arrington drove through a red light and crosswalk, narrowly missing pedestrians, and then slammed without braking into the back of the bus. The vehicle’s owner, identified in court documents as Jesse McGrath, 54, told police Arrington had his phone in his hand and was looking at it but not texting or making a call at the time of the crash. McGrath, court records say, suffered a serious shoulder injury in the collision.
Police say Arrington admitted to using crystal meth a few hours before the crash. A small baggie of methamphetamine was found at the scene. Police say a blood draw showed the presence of drugs and corroborated officer observations that Arrington showed signs of impairment.
A King County Prosecutor spokesperson tells CHS the charges in the case come seven months after the incident because the ongoing SPD investigation included toxicology results and obtaining cellphone records. The case was referred to prosecutors last week and the charges were filed on Monday.
In addition to the vehicular homicide charge, Arrington, who provided a White Center address to police when arrested, also faces counts of vehicular assault, and reckless driving. Prosecutors say he has no criminal record in King County but had his license suspended in 2014 after being stopped for speeding, driving without liability insurance, and with expired tabs.
He was not jailed in King County as of Thursday afternoon. There is a $100,000 warrant for his arrest.