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December 20, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Charge: Driver in fatal Bellevue crash was high on pot

King County prosecutors have charged a 33-year-old Bellevue man with vehicular homicide, accusing him of driving while high on marijuana and causing the death of a motorcyclist on Oct. 4.

Caleb Floyd was arrested in connection with the death of Blake Gaston, 23, after failing field sobriety tests and other tests by a drug-recognition expert, but was released from custody two days later pending completion of the police investigation and toxicology tests on his blood, according to jail records and Bellevue police spokesman Carla Iafrate.

Late Thursday afternoon, Bellevue police were notified that prosecutors had filed the vehicular-homicide charge and a judge had issued a $100,000 warrant for Floyd’s arrest, Iafrate said. Floyd was arrested at his Bellevue residence without incident and booked into the King County Jail, she said.

According to charging documents, Floyd was driving east on Northeast 10th Street around 6 p.m. on Oct. 4 when he attempted to make a left turn onto 102nd Avenue Northeast, just as Gaston was riding west through the intersection on his 2005 KTM 450 motorcycle. All left turns at the intersection must yield to oncoming traffic, the papers say.

When Floyd failed to yield the right of way, Gaston brought his motorcycle down on his right side and skidded into the side of Floyd’s 1997 Acura CL, according to the charges. One witness saw Gaston “bounce backwards before landing on the ground,” the papers say. Gaston suffered catastrophic injuries and was pronounced dead after being transported to Overlake Hospital Medical Center.

Floyd “appeared spacey” to both witnesses and investigating officers at the scene, and police say he told officers he had smoked marijuana two hours earlier, according to the charges. More than three hours after the fatal incident, Floyd’s blood contained 9.8 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood, nearly double the legal limit of 5 nanograms per milliliter, according to Iafrate and charging documents.

Charging papers say Floyd was on his way to get food at the time of the crash, but don’t indicate where he was headed. The documents also say Floyd “used a ruse to obtain medical marijuana and then obtained marijuana for the purposes of becoming impaired,” but they don’t elaborate.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Bellevue Police Department, crash, vehicular homicid


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