Driving into tree while having sex gains man spotlight, yet another court appearance

Remember the one about the drunken, naked man who allegedly got busy in the driver’s seat before crashing into a tree and hurting himself and his lady friend?

That wouldn’t be his first go-round.

Michael Tonkin, 22, has three prior DUI convictions, according to court records. His license is still suspended and he shouldn’t have been driving without an ignition interlock device, Pierce County prosecutors say.

But they say he was.

Tonkin made national headlines Nov. 22 after his alleged tryst behind the wheel with a 23-year-old woman.

Washington State Patrol troopers said Tonkin was traveling south on Mountain Highway East near La Grande when his car missed a curve and continued straight into a tree.

Tonkin leaped naked from the Ford Taurus and was running around after the crash, witnesses reported.

Troopers found a 3-month-old baby unrestrained in the backseat of the car. The baby was not hurt. Tonkin fractured his right wrist. The woman fractured her pelvis.

Beer bottles and a bottle of hard alcohol were found on the floorboard of the driver’s seat, records show.

Tonkin allegedly admitted to drinking four beers before driving.

On Monday, prosecutors charged him with vehicular assault, reckless endangerment, first-degree driving on a suspended license and failure to have ignition interlock.

He pleaded not guilty at arraignment, and Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set bail at $500,000.

Staff writer Alexis Krell contributed to this report.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653