A man accused of driving impaired and killing his passenger in a Puyallup-area wreck pleaded not guilty Tuesday.
Tyler Triplett, 55, is charged with vehicular homicide, having drugs in jail and driving with a suspended license.
Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set his bail at $250,000.
Triplett, who suffered a broken sternum and clavicle in the crash, attended his arraignment in a wheelchair.
Charging papers give this account of the accident:
Triplett hit a vehicle stopped for traffic on southbound state Route 167 on Friday, near state Route 512. That pushed the vehicle he hit into another car, which was also stopped for traffic.
Triplett’s passenger, Steven Bruce Tew, 60, of Buckley, was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle. He died at the scene.
A woman and her two children in the vehicle Triplett rear-ended were taken to local hospitals. The children suffered minor injuries. The woman had possible injuries to her chest and arm.
Washington State Patrol troopers said Triplett appeared impaired after the crash. In a holding cell at the jail, jail staff found he had a tin with heroin inside.