A seattle woman's blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit when she drove into oncoming lanes of Interstate 5 and crashed...
A Seattle woman’s blood-alcohol level 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 in King County Superior Court Friday with vehicular homicide and vehicular assault in connection with the Tukwila crash.
Christensen, who authorities said had a blood-alcohol level of 0.25 percent when her blood was tested after the crash, remains under the care of doctors for an ankle injury. The state’s legal limit is 0.08 percent. An armed guard is posted outside her hospital room because, authorities say, she has tried to flee the hospital.
When Christensen is released from Harborview Medical Center, she will be booked at the King County Jail and held on $750,000 bail, prosecutors said.
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While Christensen recovers at Harborview, Eric Hillstrom’s family said the 19-year-old remains “hanging by a thread” at the same hospital.
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, 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 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 Marine, will recover from his head injury.
Sue Hillstrom said she is afraid that if she tells him 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