A 26-year-old Puyallup woman reported to the Pierce County Jail on Monday almost exactly a year after causing a crash that seriously injured several people as she drove to get her child from day care.
Rachel Yvonne Agnew was sentenced to 30 days in jail for the wreck Feb. 4, 2013, on northbound Interstate 5 in Lakewood. She pleaded guilty to one count of vehicular assault, reduced from initial charges of the three counts of vehicular assault and one count of driving with a suspended license in the third degree.
According to charging papers:
Agnew braked her car about 3:30 p.m. near mile post 127 on northbound I-5, slowing from freeway speeds to 5 to 10 miles per hour before driving her car into another lane without signaling. The driver of the car she pulled in front of also slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting her. That caused a tractor-trailer truck to rear-end the second car.
“The impact that the semi made on that car was epic,” one witness told investigators.
When Washington State Patrol troopers arrived, other motorists were trying to help the occupants of the second car.
The driver, a 51-year-old Tacoma man, suffered traumatic brain injury and had surgery to remove pressure on his brain from bleeding. A 51-year-old Tacoma woman in the car suffered traumatic brain injury, and a 56-year-old Federal Way woman had spinal fractures from the crash. A fourth passenger, a 60-year-old Federal Way man, had neck and back pain.
Agnew told troopers she had been on the way to pick up her child from day care when she was unable to merge and “was rear-ended before I could do anything.” She said she had her car’s turn signal on for several miles but no one let her over.
Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268