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Kelly Ann Hudson pleads guilty to vehicular homicide, other charges in fatal Kirkland collision
Kirkland resident Kelly Ann Hudson, 43, pleaded guilty this afternoon to vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and reckless driving in a collision that killed one Kirkland woman and injured others last year. Hudson originally pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to the King County Prosecutor's Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe, Hudson was driving under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs when her minivan struck a car head-on on Aug. 7, 2012.
In the car was Joyce Parsons, 81, who died in the collision, Parsons’ brother Arthur Kamm, and two family members Jenny Grieshaber and Daniel J. Grieshaber, who were all seriously injured.
Jury selection was expected to begin this week for Hudson’s trial before she changed her plea.
Donohoe said prosecutors will recommend 136 months of prison time in a 102-136 sentence range.
Hudson was allegedly traveling south in her blue minivan on Juanita Drive when a woman in a car following her called 911 to report Hudson’s erratic driving and failure 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 charging documents.
The crash occurred near Fire Station 25 in Kirkland, and firefighters were 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 continue.
Emergency personnel had to cut open the Prius, which was completely off the roadway to get the victims out of the vehicle. Parsons, who was sitting behind Kamm, died on scene, court documents state.
When officers approached the minivan to question Hudson, they 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, held on a $500,000 bail, pleaded “absolutely not guilty” to the four counts on Aug. 23, 2012 at the King County Superior Court.
On a reduced bond, Hudson was freed from jail on Sept. 11, 2012 but was ordered to submit to a weekly urine test, wear an alcohol detection bracelet and could not take non-prescribed drugs as a condition of her release. Hudson is barred from driving any type of motor vehicle or from going to any business where alcohol is served or sold.
Hudson will be sentenced at 1 p.m. on Nov. 22 before Judge Timothy Bradshaw at the King County Courthouse.