A Benton City man was free on a pending DUI case when he allegedly drove his truck under the influence of drugs and slammed into two motorcyclists last week.
Chad Michael Sehnert, 33, is scheduled for trial Sept. 12 for attempting to elude officers and for DUI in a Jan. 29 incident, court documents indicate.
He now faces charges filed Tuesday in Benton County Superior Court on two counts of vehicular assault with aggravating circumstances for causing excessive injuries to the Prosser couple whom his truck hit Thursday night.
Joe Toregrase, 46, had his legs amputated, his spleen removed and suffered multiple bone fractures, court documents said.
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Janice Rennebohm, 62, who was riding on the back of Toregrase's Harley-Davidson Road King, had her left leg amputated above her knee and suffered fractures to her pelvis and forearm, documents said.
They were flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Rennebohm was upgraded Tuesday to satisfactory condition and was out of the intensive care unit, a hospital spokeswoman said. Toregrase remains in serious condition in the ICU.
They were on their way home after having dinner at a friend's house when the collision occurred on Old Inland Empire Highway, just east of Knox Road.
Dispatchers received a call from Rennebohm, who reported she had just been hit by another vehicle. While deputies were responding, dispatchers got a report from OnStar that an airbag had deployed in a vehicle and the driver was not responding.
OnStar, a security and emergency communications system in GMC vehicles, reported the incident was in the same area as the motorcycle crash.
Deputies found Sehnert's 2012 GMC truck in the eastbound lane of Old Inland Empire Highway with a missing driver's side tire and front and side damage, documents said.
Sehnert reportedly told deputies he had been in an accident with another vehicle that took off.
Deputies' preliminary investigation, however, revealed Sehnert was eastbound and crossed the centerline, striking Toregrase's motorcycle in the westbound lane, documents said.
After the collision, Sehnert's truck traveled almost a mile before stopping. A gouge on the road led from the collision scene where the motorcycle was in the ditch to Sehnert's truck, documents said.
Sehnert denied drinking, and an officer trained as a drug recognition expert concluded Sehnert was under the influence of a narcotic analgesic and central nervous system depressant.
During an exam to determine if he was impaired, Sehnert reportedly swayed from side to side, was unsteady on his feet and showed multiple signs of impairment.
He also repeatedly fell asleep during the seated portions of the exam, documents said.
Sehnert, who has been held in the Benton County jail on $500,000 bail, is expected to enter a plea in the new case Thursday.
He also is expected to appear for a bail review on his prior case. He was out of jail after posting bond on $7,500 bail.
Sehnert was charged Feb. 2 with attempting to elude a pursing police vehicle and driving under the influence in a Jan. 29 incident.
Deputies received a call about a suspicious driver and spotted Sehnert speeding and tried to stop him, documents said.
He drove on the shoulder and crossed the centerline several times while officers pursued him, documents said.
Officers deployed a spike strip across the road, which Sehnert struck with the right front and back tires. He continued to drive, however, as his back tire lost air and drove on the rim for about 10 miles, documents said.
When his truck finally stopped, he failed to follow officer's commands and was bitten by a K-9. Officers didn't smell alcohol on him, but saw an empty prescription bottle next to him, documents said.
Sehnert refused to complete an impairment evaluation, but officers did draw his blood to test, documents said. A drug recognition expert said Sehnert's eyelids were droopy, he appeared very relaxed and his speech was slurred and raspy, documents said.
Sehnert reportedly told officers that he had been injured previously and took a number of pain medications.
Sehnert was in court July 14 and his trial was postponed to September.