May 9, 2013 at 9:12 AM
Man accused in wrong-way fatal crash pleads not guilty
A 25-year-old Tacoma man accused of killing a woman in a wrong-way crash on Highway 520 in Seattle on April 4 pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide this morning in King County Superior Court.
Michael Anthony Robertson, who was injured in the crash that killed Morgan Fick Williams, 58, was brought into the courtroom in a wheelchair. He appeared to be wiping away tears during the brief hearing.
About a dozen family members and friends attended the arraignment, including Williams’ brother and two adult children.
Friend Bill Carlone, who grew up with Williams in Oak Harbor, was among those who came.
“I wanted to see the guy who did this to Morgan. It just tore me up,” he said. “She was very well loved by everybody.”
King County prosecutors say Robertson made a U-turn on Highway 520 moments before his SUV slammed head-on into Williams, who died a few hours later.
When state troopers arrived, Robertson “kept trying to exit the car and ‘go home,’ ” King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Amy Freedheim wrote in charging documents. Investigators found a near-empty bottle of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky in his front-passenger seat, according to the documents. Robertson’s breath smelled of alcohol, and he had “bloodshot, watery eyes and thick, slurred speech,” the papers say.
Robertson’s blood was drawn at Harborview Medical Center about 90 minutes after the 5:23 a.m. crash, and prosecutors are awaiting the results of toxicology tests from the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab, the papers say. Freedheim wrote that test results are expected to show Robertson’s “blood alcohol content was significantly above” the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Williams, mother of two grown children, was on her way to work in Bellevue at Eddie Bauer’s corporate headquarters, where she was the manager of accounts payable.
In December, Robertson was arrested in Tacoma for DUI after he allegedly hit another vehicle and drove away, according to a Washington State Patrol report.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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