Pierce County prosecutors charged a woman on Wednesday who they say was drunk when her truck crashed into a car and killed a South Hill man on his way home from work.
Kayla Schmidt, 24, was arraigned on charges of vehicular homicide. She was held in lieu of $35,000 bail.
Killed in the crash Monday was Jose Luiz Gonzalez-Olaguez, 46.
His 16-year-old daughter lost her father two weeks after her birthday.
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“I am traumatized by what I have to live with and deal with for the rest of my life,” Nathalee Gonzalez said. “You now leave me with sleepless nights and pain that I have now knowing my daddy is gone.”
She spoke after Schmidt’s arraignment with her mother, Maria Lopez, Gonzalez-Olaguez’s former wife.
“I ask that anyone that goes out tonight, that goes out to have fun or that goes out for a drink, to remember what you are doing, to not walk into a car, and to stop and realize that you might change a life forever,” the teen said.
Despite her loss, Lopez said she is full of forgiveness.
“I have no hatred in my heart for her or anyone else,” Lopez said of Schmidt. “I forgive her. This has changed our lives forever and I know it has changed her life forever.”
The collision occurred about 11:20 p.m. Monday in the 100 block of East Pioneer Street near South Meridian.
Gonzalez-Olaguez was traveling south on South Meridian on his way home from work when Schmidt allegedly ran a red light and her pickup slammed into Gonzalez-Olaguez’s car, pushing it 80 feet past the intersection.
The force of the crash caved in the front of Gonzalez-Olaguez’s car and Puyallup police did not immediately see anybody inside the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
When officers arrived, they found Schmidt still inside her truck and showing signs she’d been drinking, police said.
“The defendant was unaware that anyone was injured in the collision and thought she collided with a parked car,” according to charging papers.
Schmidt agreed to take a breath test to see whether she was impaired by alcohol but only pretended to blow air into the testing device, records show.
Schmidt was not hurt in the crash but was was taken to a hospital to be checked out.
She later told police she spent the evening drinking at a hotel in Auburn and was driving home to Graham when she hit Gonzalez-Olaguez’s car, the court documents state.
Police investigators said there is no evidence Schmidt hit the brakes before the crash.
Staff writer Natalie DeFord contributed to this report.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653