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Kirkland woman charged with vehicular homicide, assault for crash on Juanita Drive
A 42-year-old Kirkland woman was formally charged with vehicular homicide and three counts of vehicular assault on Friday. Kelly Hudson remains in the King County Jail after bail was set at $500,000 on Thursday in King County Superior Court.
Hudson is suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs, crossing the center line on Kirkland’s Juanita Drive and killing Joyce Parsons, 81, of Kirkland and injuring three other people on Tuesday night.
Her arraignment is set for Aug. 23 at the King County Courthouse.
Hudson was allegedly traveling south in a blue minivan on Juanita Drive when a woman in a car following her called 911 to report that she was driving erratically and failed to stop for a stop sign. While on the phone with dispatch the woman witnessed Hudson cross the center line “as though to pass traffic” and hit a silver Toyota Prius head-on, according to court documents.
The crash occurred near Fire Station 25 and firefighters were the first on the scene. Three people in separate cars behind the Prius, and a second car behind the minivan, also witnessed the crash, the documents continued.
Emergency personnel had to cut open the Prius, which was completely off the roadway, to get Arthur Kamm, 85, Daniel J. Grieshaber, 72, Jenny L. Grieshaber, 69, along with Parsons, out of the vehicle. Parsons, who was sitting behind Kamm according to charging documents, died on scene.
When officers approached the blue minivan they contacted Hudson and noticed signs of intoxication including the smell of alcohol on her breath, droopy, watery, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, the documents continued.
Hudson allegedly told officers that prior to driving she had taken an anti-anxiety medication with wine, according to police documents.
Kamm and Jenny Grieshaber were transported to Harborview in critical condition. Kamm had internal bleeding, while Grieshaber sustained a broken neck. Daniel J. Grieshaber was transported to Evergreen Hospital with a broken arm, among other injuries.
Hudson submitted to a blood draw while at the hospital to determine the level of alcohol or drugs in her blood stream. The results of that test are pending, according to court documents.
Kirkland Police Lt. Mike Murray said that neighbors of Hudson told detectives she was seen hitting a large rock in her driveway with her minivan as she attempted to drive the vehicle out to the road sometime Tuesday. The crash was violent enough to rip the bumper off the minivian but the vehicle still drove away. Hudson lives a little more than a mile from the scene of the accident in the Finn Hill neighborhood.
Hudson has no criminal record but has received eight traffic violations in the last five years, according to court documents.
“She is a danger to the community, especially on the road,” said the prosecuting attorney Amy J. Freedheim in court documents.
Hudson is the third person during the past 13 months to be charged with vehicular homicide while impaired by drugs or alcohol in Kirkland. The first incident, which occurred last July and took the life of a Kirkland Google engineer, helped to change the sentencing laws.
If convicted, Hudson would face the new and tougher laws that call for 146 to 194 months in prison. The sentencing guidelines were doubled under the new law.