Underage Suspected Drunk Driver Charged in Fatal Crash on I-5
An 18-year-old woman has been charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault – DUI, and reckless endangerment following a fatal crash on Interstate 5 near Federal Way on Thursday, August 22.
Police say that 18-year-old Zoe Rose Philips admitted to drinking Hennessey and smoking marijuana prior to Thursday’s crash. Her Chevy Cobalt struck a guardrail on Interstate 5 at approximately 2:22 a.m. and came to rest perpendicular to traffic on the highway. With the vehicle’s lights damaged and not working, she was invisible to oncoming traffic. This resulted in a Toyota Tundra colliding with Phillips’ Chevy.
20-year-old Cindy L. Thach was a passenger in the Chevy. When police arrived at the scene, they found her deceased in the rear passenger seat. A second 26-year-old female passenger was injured in the crash.
The Toyota driver was not injured. Her passenger suffered minor injuries and was treated at a hospital.
According to the police, the 26-year-old passenger in the Chevy said that she had offered to drive, but that Phillips insisted on driving her vehicle.
Phillips appeared in Superior Court on Monday and was charged with vehicular homicide. Her bail was set at $50,000 and she was ordered to wear an ankle bracelet which can detect alcohol use 24 hours per day.
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Legal Recourse For Drunk Driving Crash Victims & Their Families in Washington
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of CrimeVictim.Attorney represents people who have been injured by drunk drivers and the families of those killed in drunk driving crashes. Here are a few thoughts from Brian on the legal options available to these victims and families for crashes that occur in Washington state:
Washington is one of several states which allow people who have been injured in alcohol-related crashes (and the families of fatal crash victims) to file lawsuits against alcohol vendors who negligently provided alcohol to the person that caused the injuries. These are known as dram shop claims. Additionally, the person who caused the accident may be held directly liable in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
According to Washington’s dram shop laws, alcohol vendors can be held liable for injuries caused by someone that they provided alcohol to if that person was either under 21 years of age or visibly intoxicated at the time the alcohol was provided.
Additionally, social hosts can be held liable for injuries caused by someone that they gave alcohol to if that person was under 21 years of age.
For example, let’s say George buys a bottle of liquor for Lisa. Lisa drinks from that bottle and then gets behind the wheel of her car. Driving while intoxicated, she then crashes into a vehicle being driven by Mary, seriously injuring her. Mary may have grounds for a dram shop lawsuit against George for providing alcohol to someone who was underage.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a crash with a drunk driver, you can learn more about your family’s legal options by speaking with an experienced drunk driving injury victims lawyer.
Location of Interstate 5 in Federal Way, WA
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