No vehicular homicide charge in death of Port Angeles pedestrian last October
By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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Marlene Terese Brand, 49, of Port Angeles may still face driving-under-the-influence charges after the collision on U.S. Highway 101 that killed Bonita N. Bickford, 49, of Port Angeles.
“Bickford’s toxicology results were positive for controlled substances which may have been contributing factors,” Prosecuting Attorney Will Payne said.
The decision against filing a vehicular homicide charge was made after prosecutors reviewed investigative reports by the State Patrol, according to a news release issued by John Troberg, chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney, this week.
Details of report
Prosecutors said investigators found that Bickford was crossing U.S. Highway 101 between Golf Course Road and Olympic Lodge using a walker on a rainy evening just after 8 p.m.
She was not in a crosswalk and was wearing dark clothing, according to the investigator’s report.
“She continued straight across four lanes of traffic, not slowing or looking at traffic,” the report said.
Brand’s car struck Bickford in the far curb lane.
An eyewitness told investigators that Brand braked before impact and did everything to try to avoid striking Bickford.
“The eyewitness also told officers they first thought Bickford was a deer because of the dark clothing,” prosecutors said.
“Brand’s driving was unremarkable, and it appeared the cause of the collision was Bickford’s decision to cross five lanes of traffic outside a crosswalk on a dark rainy night,” the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office found in its report.
The fifth lane is a turn lane.
The report said Brand had a blood-alcohol level of 0.092 percent, above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Earlier State Patrol reports said her blood-alcohol level was 0.124 percent.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: May 13. 2014 5:42PM