Washington State

Poulsbo man sentenced for Olympia crash that killed teen

Traffic crash kills one on Interstate 5 in Olympia

A crash left one person dead on Interstate 5 in Olympia on Feb. 2. It’s believed a driver tried to pass traffic on the right shoulder of the freeway near Pacific Avenue.
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A crash left one person dead on Interstate 5 in Olympia on Feb. 2. It’s believed a driver tried to pass traffic on the right shoulder of the freeway near Pacific Avenue.

A Poulsbo man has been sentenced for his role in a crash that killed a 16-year-old Oregon girl on Interstate 5 in Olympia this year.

David W. Willis Jr., 40, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and felony DUI late last month. On Tuesday, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Christopher Lanese sentenced Willis to 11 years in prison based on a deal struck between Willis and prosecutors.

The Feb. 2 crash happened on northbound I-5 near Pacific Avenue. Sixteen-year-old Natalya Martinez of Hermiston, Oregon, and her family were traveling in two cars.

According to court documents, she had pulled to the right shoulder because of a flat tire and was waiting in the car for a tow truck when Willis slammed into the back of her car.

Her mother was injured and taken to the hospital, as were Willis and his 8-year-old daughter who was riding in his car with him.

Witnesses told law enforcement Willis was driving erratically and at one point left the road and drove onto the shoulder in an apparent attempt to pass slower traffic.

Willis allegedly told detectives he was on several prescription medications for pain and had smoked marijuana earlier in the day.

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