Taxi van passenger killed in wreck near Puyallup

Staff writerMarch 4, 2014 

Photo courtesy of Washington State Patrol.

A pregnant woman riding in a taxi van was killed early Tuesday after the taxi was hit by a truck on state Route 167 near Puyallup, according to Washington State Patrol.

The accident happened shortly after midnight on SR 167 at 44th Street.

Troopers said a 2006 Dodge Ram pickup truck was traveling north when it crossed into the southbound lane. The taxi driver swerved to avoid the truck but was still struck, spinning around until it stopped against the guardrail.

Shanna Huttenstine, 34, of Tacoma, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the taxi - a 52-year-old Seattle man - and a second passenger, Huttenstine's 36-year-old fiance, were taken to an area hospital with unknown injuries. Her fiance was released from the hospital after a few hours.

The taxi picked the couple up at Good Samaritan Hospital before the crash and was presumably taking them home, the State Patrol said.

The driver of the truck, a 48-year-old Puyallup man, was not seriously injured. He was booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. Trooper Guy Gill said the man showed signs of impairment after the accident.

Troopers had that section of SR 167 closed until just before 4 a.m. for the investigation.

Pierce County prosecutors are expected to file charges against the driver of the truck Wednesday. Deputy Prosecutor Tim Jones said the law does not allow for a vehicular homicide charge to be filed on behalf of Huttenstine's unborn child.

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