Driver pleads not guilty in fatal crash near Spanaway

A Roy man whose borrowed pickup truck crashed head-on Saturday into an SUV near Spanaway and killed the other driver had plowed into another vehicle 10 minutes earlier, authorities said Monday.

Matthew Haygood, 31, borrowed his neighbor’s truck to pick up wooden pallets. He later told Washington State Patrol troopers he had a few beers at a friend’s house beforehand.

The first 911 calls came in about 6:30 p.m. Saturday when witnesses reported a pickup weaving before crashing into the back of a car stopped at 138th Street South and C Street South.

The driver of the car was hurt.

The pickup continued on and 10 minutes later dispatchers were flooded with more 911 calls. The pickup had crossed into oncoming traffic on state Route 507 near East Gate Road and hit a northbound SUV.

Responding troopers found the pickup engulfed in flames and wooden pallets strewn across the roadway.

The SUV driver, later identified as Todd Morose, 50, of Tacoma, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 50-year-old woman in the passenger seat of the SUV lost an eye and suffered significant injuries to her abdomen and head. She was listed in serious but stable condition Monday.

Two children in the backseat, ages 12 and 13, also were injured, with the 12-year-old suffering femoral fractures and abdominal injuries.

Troopers could not initially find the pickup driver so 30 emergency personnel workers set out searching the wooded area near the crash.

The owner of the truck told troopers she’d lent the pickup to Haygood, who was supposed to be using it to pick up pallets.

About four hours after the crash, Haywood stumbled out of the woods near the accident scene. He said “he was wandering around the woods for hours calling for help,” according to charging papers.

Pierce County prosecutors on Monday charged Haywood with vehicular homicide, two counts of vehicular assault, failure to remain at an accident resulting in death, failure to remain at an injury accident and duty in case of damage to attended vehicle.

He pleaded not guilty to all counts and was ordered jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail.

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