Prosecutors reconsidering vehicular homicide for driver in pedestrian fatality
By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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“In this particular case, the state does not have sufficient evidence to carry its burden due to the conditions of the [incident] and the statements from witnesses,” said Jesse Espinoza, Clallam County deputy prosecuting attorney, during a hearing Thursday in Clallam County Superior Court.
Marlene Terese Brand, 49, was arrested Monday evening and held on $35,000 bail after the 1988 Chevy Beretta she was driving struck Bonita N. Bickford, 49, of Port Angeles at about 8 p.m., according to police reports.
Bickman was using a walker to cross the four-lane U.S. Highway 101 from south to north between Golf Course Road and Olympic Lodge. She was not in a crosswalk, said Trooper Russ Winger, State Patrol spokesman.
Bickford was taken to Olympic Medical Center, where she later died from her injuries.
Brand was driving westbound in the right lane and applied the brakes before hitting Bickford, the State Patrol said.
Espinoza said Brand was cited by the State Patrol for DUI and that any charge following that citation would be handled in Clallam County District Court.
The State Patrol, which issued a DUI against Brand, continues to investigate, Espinzoa said Thursday.
“For now, I will exonerate you under [the] Superior Court action,” Superior Court Commissioner Kenneth Williams told Brand during Thursday’s hearing.
As of 5 p.m., Brand remained listed on the jail roster.
Brand failed field sobriety tests after the incident, according to State Patrol accounts, and a preliminary breath test showed Brand’s blood-alcohol level was 0.124 percent, about 1½ times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
The State Patrol said Brand told a trooper she was coming back from Aberdeen and had drunk one beer about an hour prior to the collision.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at email@example.com.
Last modified: October 10. 2013 6:52PM