Driver charged with four counts of vehicular homicide in Nov. 29 crash near Marysville
December 3, 2009 · Updated 11:45 AM
EVERETT — Prosecutors filed charges Dec. 2 for four counts of vehicular homicide against 27-year-old Matthew McDonald, of Snohomish, in Everett District Court.
Detectives allege that McDonald was driving a 2005 Ford Explorer truck eastbound on 108th Street NE, at least 40 miles per hour in a 35-mph zone, when he reportedly ran a stop sign at the intersection of Highway 9 at approximately 6:15 p.m. Nov. 29, striking a 2007 Hyundai Azera four-door car heading southbound on Highway 9. All four occupants of the car — Hilda and Thomas Woods and Melissa and Bradley Agerup, two couples who were next-door neighbors in Clearview — died at the scene after both vehicles went off the road.
According to a police report filed Nov. 30 in Everett District Court, McDonald allegedly told police he'd had eight beers before driving. The court document also said that McDonald had a blood alcohol level of .123, 1.5 times the legal limit, two hours after the crash. Court records show McDonald has a history of speeding tickets, but never has been convicted of felonies.
A judge ordered Nov. 30 that McDonald be held in lieu of $1 million bail, after he was booked into the Snohomish County Jail that day for investigation of the charges later filed against him. He remains jailed as of Dec. 2.
McDonald was not the only drunken driver allegedly present at the Nov. 29 scene of what officials are calling the deadliest drunken-driving accident in Snohomish County in recent memory.
An eight-year Snohomish County Medical Examiner's investigator was arrested at the scene of the crash for investigation of driving a county-owned vehicle under the influence, after a Washington State Patrol trooper smelled alcohol on his breath, according to Trooper Keith Leary. Two other investigators were ready to relieve him after his arrest.
The 48-year-old investigator was more than three hours into his shift when he was arrested. He was given a ride home from the scene and has been placed on paid leave. The Washington State Patrol and the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office are investigating the matter. Leary said the arrest did not compromise the crime scene investigation.