Pierce County prosecutors on Monday charged a suspected drunken driver who prompted 14 calls to 911 from passersby.
Steven Kinggeorge, 32, of Auburn, was arraigned in District Court on charges of with DUI, hit and run, reckless driving and third-degree driving on a suspended license. He pleaded not guilty and bail was set at $35,000.
Washington State Patrol troopers first were notified of a possible drunken driver the morning of Jan. 1 when a witness called 911 to report seeing an SUV crash into a center barrier near Gravelly Lake Drive on southbound Interstate 5 and keep going.
The SUV then exited the freeway and turned around, going north at 90 miles per hour, the State Patrol said. Drivers told dispatchers the SUV was weaving in and out of traffic and striking the barrier before the driver lost control and the SUV spun out.
Kinggeorge left his SUV, ran across four lanes of traffic and hopped a fence into a Lakewood apartment complex where he was later arrested, according to charging documents.
Asked whether his driving was affected by drugs or alcohol, Kinggeorge allegedly replied, “It has to be. Look what happened,” charging papers state.