A seattle woman's blood-alcohol content was more than three times the legal limit when she drove into oncoming lanes of Interstate 5 and...
A Seattle woman’s blood-alcohol content was more than three times the legal limit when she drove into oncoming lanes of Interstate 5 and crashed into another car, killing an 18-year-old woman and injuring that woman’s 19-year-old boyfriend.
Cerrissa Christensen, 27, was charged today with vehicular homicide and vehicular assault in connection with the Tukwila crash.
Christensen, who authorities said had a blood-alcohol content of 0.25 when her blood was tested after the crash, remains under the care of doctors for an ankle injury. An armed guard is posted outside her hospital room because authorities say she has tried to flee the Seattle trauma center.
While Christensen recovers at Harborview Medical Center, Eric Hillstrom’s family said the 19-year-old remains “hanging by a thread” at the same hospital.
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Hillstrom was driving his girlfriend, Bawny McQuistin, from his parents’ house near Tacoma, where she had been living, to his apartment in Seattle when Christensen struck his pickup truck, according to Hillstrom’s family. McQuistin was pronounced dead at the scene and Hillstrom was hospitalized for severe head trauma, a lacerated liver, bruised lungs and a broken femur and hip.
According to the State Patrol, Christensen was driving south in the northbound lanes at speeds nearing 90 mph. As oncoming cars swerved to avoid her, authorities pulled alongside with their lights flashing and high-beams directed into Christensen’s vehicle, court charging papers said.
Christensen struck Hillstrom’s truck head-on. When questioned afterward, Christensen cursed at the trooper who accused her of hitting and killing someone, charging papers said.
Sue Hillstrom, the injured man’s mother, said her son is under medical sedation in the intensive-care unit and hasn’t been able to communicate. She said it isn’t clear whether her son, who was in school to become a merchant mariner, will ever recover from his head injury.
Sue Hillstrom said she is afraid that if she tells him that his girlfriend of five months is dead he won’t want to get better.
“One day is perfect. Now it’s upside down,” Sue Hillstrom said. “When do you choose to tell him [about his girlfriend]? He needs to know but knowing the time is hard.”
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or firstname.lastname@example.org