A 23-year-old man pleaded innocent Thursday to allegations he was highly intoxicated when his car plowed into the back of a minivan, causing it to roll and severely injuring a young boy.
Christopher David Lundy of Kennewick is charged in Benton County Superior Court with vehicular assault for the Feb. 19 crash on Highway 240.
His trial is scheduled May 24.
According to police and court documents, a Richland family of six were eastbound in their Honda Odyssey on 240 at Duportail Street when a Hyundai Sonata came up behind them in the same lane.
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The Hyundai, driven by Lundy, reportedly was speeding at 1:30 a.m. when it hit the back of the van and forced it off the road, where it rolled before coming to a rest on its wheels.
The Honda's driver, Lateef A. al-Salehi, 46, and passenger Yusraa Aziz, 42, were injured and taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland.
Four children ages 7 to 11 also were taken to the hospital. Their names were not released, but prosecutors say the youngest child suffered a broken right eye socket.
Lundy was not injured, the Washington State Patrol reported at the time.
When contacted by a trooper, Lundy had watery bloodshot eyes, "an odor of intoxicants" and slurry speech, along with an empty beer bottle on the floor of his car, court documents said.
He had difficulty standing and walking, and needed to use his car for balance and the assistance of a trooper to walk, documents said.
Lundy allegedly refused to do any field sobriety tests, saying, "Why? I'm (expletive) drunk and I'm not doing (expletive) for you."
He questioned how he could be in trouble, repeatedly saying the other driver "brake checked me," court documents said. He also made a derogatory comment about the van's occupants and asked why the troopers cared about the wreck, documents said.
At one point, Lundy allegedly admitted that he should have not have been driving. Prosecutors said his blood-alcohol level was 0.267 percent, more than three times the legal limit to drive in Washington.
Lundy continued to be "verbally assaultive" and uncooperative while medical staff cleared him before being booked into the Benton County jail.
"He went on to state that the victims were not injured, but that they were trying to 'screw him,' " court documents said. "He then stated that he tried to start the car to leave after the collision."
Lundy is out of custody after posting $25,000 bail.
Pasco man to go to trial on cocaine possession
A Pasco man who tried to run from police during a traffic stop but got caught when he tripped faces trial May 21 on charges he had cocaine.
Jason Charles Alferness, 39, pleaded innocent to one count of possessing the drug.
Alferness allegedly told the Kennewick officer that he ran because he didn't want to go back to jail.
He was stopped Feb. 17 for a traffic infraction. A standard check revealed Alferness had warrants for his arrest, and it's while the officer was talking to dispatch that the driver got out of his car and took off, court documents said.
The officer was able to catch Alferness when the suspect tripped. Alferness pulled his hands underneath him, but quickly was placed under arrest and picked up, documents said.
That's when the officer allegedly saw a white substance on the ground. The substance, which tested positive for cocaine, was dry, even though the ground was wet, court documents said.
Alferness initially told police that the drugs were not his, but later admitted to having a drug problem and buying the cocaine that evening, documents said.