A Yakima man admitted being high on drugs when his truck smashed into a car stopped on a highway shoulder, killing a Franklin County jail sergeant and his wife.
Brent A. Owens, 40, pleaded guilty last week in Yakima County Superior Court to two counts of vehicular homicide.
Sentencing is set for Sept. 28, the Yakima County Prosecutor’s Office said.
Owens was not seriously injured in the Oct. 23 crash along Interstate 82, two miles east of Union Gap.
However, JoAn and Leonard “Len” Shure died at the scene.
Len Shure, 66, had been a longtime employee at the jail.
JoAn Shure, 71, worked at Hanford as a radiation monitor, was co-founder of a nonprofit and an ordained minister.
The Shures were married for 40 years.
Washington State Patrol investigators were not able to determine why the Pasco couple had stopped their Cadillac CTS on the shoulder, or if it was rolling on the shoulder when hit.
Len Shure was behind the wheel of the Cadillac, which was destroyed.
The crash was reported about 12:46 p.m. and disrupted eastbound traffic for about three hours.
The 2006 Ford F-550 driven by Owens was an industrial service truck.
After the truck hit the back of the Cadillac, both vehicles crossed the eastbound lanes and came to rest in the median.
Owens was charged more than two months later, after State Patrol detectives completed their investigation.
A probable cause statement said the toxicology report on Owens indicated the presence of alprazolam — commonly marketed as Xanax, as well as codeine, morphine and methamphetamine, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic.
The document did not say how much of each drug was detected.
Owens also pleaded guilty last week to commercial sexual abuse of a minor. The unrelated case involved Owens paying a teen to have sex with him.
The Yakima Herald-Republic previously reported that Owens was sentenced to 20 days in jail in February 2015 for possessing meth during a 2014 wreck.
In that crash, Owens’ pickup reportedly crossed the center line on a Yakima road and struck another vehicle.
Owens is held without bail in the Yakima County jail while awaiting sentencing.