A 22-year-old man has been charged with vehicular homicide in the Oct. 21 death of Jason Ley on Interstate 5 in Lakewood.
Toxicology reports found that Dillon Zachary Nash was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the collision. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Friday, and Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set his bail at $150,000.
Ley, 46, of Yelm was a passenger in an SUV that had just been involved in a multiple-vehicle accident about 2:30 a.m.
According to charging papers:
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After the wreck, the drivers were stopped in a lane of the freeway and exchanging insurance information.
Traveling at highway speed, Nash’s Toyota Corolla crashed into the Ford Explorer in which Ley had been a passenger. Ley was standing outside the SUV with his upper body inside.
The Explorer was pushed into a Ford F350 that was stopped for the previous accident.
Ley suffered fatal injuries and was declared dead at a hospital.
At the time of the crash, Nash told a Washington State Patrol trooper he had drunk only one beer. He was arrested after failing a field sobriety test.
About 90 minutes after the wreck, Nash’s blood-alcohol rate was 0.13 percent, above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Another trooper inspected Nash’s Corolla.
“The speedometer display was stuck at 60 miles per hour,” the trooper wrote.
Nash has been based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for several years, and doesn’t appear to have prior convictions.
Deputy prosecutor Neil Horibe told the court Friday that Nash was on leave in Florida when charges were filed last month. He was extradited to Washington after he was in another wreck while in Florida.
Horibe said he didn’t think charges were filed for that wreck, but said a Florida trooper reported a smell of alcohol coming from Nash at the time.
“The amount of poor judgment that it shows to get into a collision while this is hanging out over your head, or essentially while a warrant had been issued, that should be very troubling,” Horibe said in court.
Ley’s family declined to talk to reporters.