A 70-year-old Bellingham man who is now paralyzed was charged last week with two counts of vehicular homicide, accused of killing his wife and another woman in September after he sped through a stop sign in rural Enumclaw and slammed into another vehicle.
King County prosecutors have charged a 70-year-old Bellingham man with two counts of vehicular homicide, accusing him of killing his wife and fatally injuring another woman after he sped through a stop sign and slammed into another vehicle in Enumclaw in September.
Randolph Schepper, who was paralyzed in the wreck, denied speeding and claimed he didn’t see the stop sign because it was obscured by weeds, charging papers say. But witnesses and evidence at the scene don’t support his version of events, prosecutors say.
A summons was sent to Schepper, who is to be arraigned June 9 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, according to court records and Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.
Drug and alcohol impairment were ruled out, and Schepper was charged with vehicular homicide while driving in a reckless manner and with disregard for the safety of others, the charges say.
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According to the charges:
Just before 7 p.m. Sept. 15, Schepper was driving his wife, 59-year-old Julie Posey-Schepper, to a friend’s house in Enumclaw. He was driving west on Southeast 424th Street, a flat and straight roadway with a 35-mph speed limit.
Schepper ignored a sign warning of a stop sign 500 feet ahead at 244th Avenue Southeast as well as white painted “rumble strips” leading to the intersection.
He blew through the stop sign, slamming into a car driven by Jerry Krantz, 83. Krantz’s wife, Miriam Johnson, 75, was a passenger in the car.
Posey-Schepper, who wasn’t wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the car and died at the scene. Johnson suffered catastrophic injuries and died three weeks later at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Krantz suffered a severe head injury.
Schepper “claims to have suffered a cervical fracture and is totally paralyzed with the exception of some use in one arm,” charging papers say. He was admitted to a nursing rehabilitation facility following his release from the hospital.
Police estimate Schepper was driving 52 mph five seconds before impact, slowing to 48 mph at impact.
A couple who live on the northeast corner of the intersection saw Schepper’s vehicle speed by, commented to each other that “it wasn’t going to stop for the stop sign,” then heard the sound of the crash and called 911, say the charges.
The stop sign was clearly visible, charging papers say, but the setting sun to the north may have contributed to Schepper’s not seeing it, and use of a visor would have blocked the sun.
But the sun “does not explain how he could have missed not only the stop sign, but the stop sign ahead (sign) and the white ‘rumble strips’ as he approached the intersection, or why he was exceeding the posted speed limit if he was having difficulty seeing where he was going,” say the charges.