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March 28, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Vehicular homicide charge filed in wrong-way crash

A 40-year-old Covington woman was charged today with vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment for allegedly causing a wrong-way collision on Interstate 5 in Seattle last week that killed a passenger in her vehicle, according to King County prosecutors.

Maria Hill allegedly had a blood-alcohol level of 0.21, almost three times the legal limit of 0.08, more than two hours after the early-morning crash on March 21, according to charging papers. She posted $100,000 bail and was released from the King County Jail a day later.

Hill allegedly entered the off-ramp at James Street in her Lexus SUV and drove south for about half a mile in the northbound collector lanes of Interstate 5, colliding with a Toyota pickup, charging papers say. Hill’s friend, 33-year-old Valerie Cartillar, was thrown through the windshield and killed instantly, the papers say.

The male driver of the pickup was able to avoid a head-on collision and suffered minor injuries, the papers say. Hill, who broke her arm, had to be cut out of her SUV.

Hill, who has convictions for first-degree negligent driving, promoting prostitution and prostitution, is in a methadone program in Renton, charging papers say. She claimed she and Cartillar had each drank two cocktails at a downtown bar after Hill had finished her server shift at a restaurant, charging papers say.

Comments | More in The Blotter, Traffic & Transit | Topics: Covington, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, reckless endangerment

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