After 28 years, Gerald Densmore is finally in court on charges of seriously injuring another man in a Pierce County car crash.
Prosecutors charged Densmore with vehicular assault after the March 9, 1986, accident. Densmore, now 56, was summoned to appear in court back then but never showed up. A warrant was issued but he was never arrested.
Four years ago Densmore called the prosecutor’s office and asked that the warrant be quashed so he could receive Social Security benefits. Prosecutors refused, and he didn’t call back.
Then Densmore was arrested Jan. 11 in Springfield, Mo., for a traffic violation and sheriff’s deputies extradited him earlier this week. He was arraigned Thursday and ordered jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Deputy prosecutor Tim Jones said Densmore faces three to nine months in jail if convicted as charged.
According to court records, Densmore was drunk when his vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic on River Road and hit another vehicle. A person in the other vehicle suffered a shattered hip, officials said. At the time of the accident Densmore’s blood-alcohol content was 0.13, exceeding the legal limit of 0.10, documents show.
Jones called the car crash victim Ken Mellick, now 66 and living in Florida, after hearing Densmore had been picked up in Missouri. He decided to move forward with the case after the victim agreed to testify.
“This is a first for a case this old,” Jones said.
Mellick told KIRO-TV the crash changed his life.
”I ended up losing my farm (in Puyallup), no way to get money. I lost our house, I ended up on welfare and food stamps,” he said.
KIRO reported that Mellick is a Vietnam veteran who has six children, and that doctors told him he would never walk without a cane.
Mellick told KIRO a hip replacement, therapy and other surgeries helped him recover, and that he owns a contracting firm in Florida.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653