A suspected drunken driver who hit a car carrying a family of five in Puyallup told police he blacked out and doesn’t know how the accident happened.
Pierce County prosecutors on Monday charged Mark Bachner, 40, with vehicular assault. A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf in Superior Court, and he was ordered held in lieu of $15,000 bail.
The crash happened about 8 p.m. Friday at Shaw Road and Highlands Boulevard Southeast.
Police said Bachner’s car crossed into oncoming traffic and hit the family’s car just after it turned onto Shaw Road. The family had been going to visit their grandmother. .
Chris Garza, who was behind the wheel, said his 11-year-old daughter, Anhy-eli, the most seriously injured, was moved out of intensive care over the weekend.
Also in the car were Garza’s daughters, ages 12 and 15, and his girlfriend’s 12-year-old son.
Witnesses told police Bachner was stumbling around and slurring his speech after the crash and at one point tried to back his vehicle up.
He admitted to officers he drank beer before the accident and said he “‘passed out’ while driving ‘up the hill’ so he wasn’t exactly sure what had happened,” according to charging papers.
Prosecutors said they might file additional charges.