Morgan Fick Williams usually rode the bus from her North Seattle home to the Eddie Bauer corporate offices in Redmond, where she had worked for 32 years.
On Thursday, though, the 58-year-old mother of two decided to drive across the state Route 520 floating bridge because she planned to visit an old high-school friend at a Bellingham hospice after work, her younger brother, Matt Fick, said Thursday.
Williams was eastbound on the bridge when her gold 2003 Mazda Protege was struck head-on before dawn by a suspected drunken driver going the wrong way in his Ford Explorer. The impact mangled Williams car, both vehicles and traffic was brought to a standstill as first responders cut Williams from out of the wreckage. She died hours later at 10 a.m. at Harborview Medical Center, according to the Washington State Patrol.
The driver of the SUV was a 25-year-old man from Tacoma.. He suffered a likely broken ankle and was taken to Harborview, where he was listed in satisfactory condition, according to the State Patrol.
He was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide, the Patrol said. The News Tribunes policy is to not name suspects until their case has been reviewed by a court.
Previous court records show that the SUV driver is awaiting trial in Tacoma Municipal Court on a charge of driving under the influence stemming from a Dec. 15, 2012, accident on Interstate 15. According to prosecutors, his blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.18 percent, more than twice the legal limit.
He had pleaded not guilty and was scheduled to go to trial this month, according to court records.
After his arrest last year in Pierce County, he was released from jail on personal recognizance and ordered not to drink any alcohol, records show.
How the SUV driver ended up going the wrong direction is not yet clear. The investigation into the accident is continuing. However Trooper George Englebright said it is possible that he traveled the entire length of the bridge going the wrong way. Or he made a U-turn somewhere along the span.
Detectives expect to forward their case to King County prosecutors for a charging decision today, he said.
News Tribune staff writer Alexis Krell contributed to this report.