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November 16, 2011 at 9:27 AM

SUV driver in Lake City crash to go from hospital to jail

A Seattle man accused of killing a couple in a crash on Lake City Way on Sunday afternoon will be booked into the King County Jail once he is released from the hospital, according to prosecutors.

Daniel Ray Habeeb, the driver of the SUV, was listed in satisfactory condition at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center this morning. Sunday’s crash was the second time that Habeeb has been involved in a fatal auto collision.

This morning, Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s Office, said an arrest warrant for Habeeb has been issued for violating the terms of his probation.

Habeeb was charged in 2009 with vehicular homicide; last year he pleaded guilty to reduced charges. As part of that plea, Habeeb was ordered not to commit any new crimes, including any traffic violations. Authorities believe Habeeb was speeding and running a red light on Sunday — which would constitute a violation of his probation.

According to the warrant request, which was filed on Tuesday, prosecutors say witness Mitch Mattson told investigators that Habeeb was driving between 70 and 90 miles per hour on Sunday and ran the light.

“The State believes that the moving violations must be addressed immediately in order to protect public safety,” the court filing said. The warrant request was agreed to by a judge.

Habeeb’s one-year jail sentence resulting from the first crash was suspended last year as part of the plea. If he’s found guilty of violating the terms of his probation, that suspended sentence will be revoked and Habeeb will serve the 12 months behind bars, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors are working with Seattle police to determine whether Sunday’s accident will result in new criminal charges against Habeeb. Police say that it might take months to complete an investigation into the Lake City accident.

Habeeb had two girls, ages 10 and 11, in the vehicle with him when he struck Laura Sheard and Kristopher Martin’s Hyundai on Lake City Way Northeast, authorities said. The Hyundai and Ford Explorer traveled about 100 yards before the Hyundai burst into flames at about 3:40 p.m.

Sheard and Martin died at the scene.

On the afternoon of Jan. 30, 2009, Habeeb was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic on 15th Avenue West, near Interbay, when he crashed into three vehicles. Susan Peek, 65, was killed. When confronted by a witness after the crash, Habeeb said, “I was hurrying to get home … was going home to my wife and kids,” according to charging documents.

Prosecutors charged Habeeb with vehicular homicide and hit and run on June 23, 2009. He pleaded guilty the following summer to reduced charges of reckless driving and reckless endangerment.

Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Mark Larson said that in the 2009 case, there were concerns regarding Habeeb’s mental competency.

Related Seattle Times coverage: SUV driver in fiery wreck caused fatal crash in ’09

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