Crime

Boy, 14, charged in fatal Lakewood joyride

Pierce County prosecutors contend a 14-year-old boy was driving this car when it crashed in Lakewood on Monday, killing a 10-year-old passenger.
Pierce County prosecutors contend a 14-year-old boy was driving this car when it crashed in Lakewood on Monday, killing a 10-year-old passenger. Courtesy

Pierce County prosecutors Thursday filed three criminal charges against a 14-year-old Lakewood boy accused of being behind the wheel of a car that crashed Monday, killing a 10-year-old boy riding in the back seat.

Not guilty pleas were entered on the teenager’s behalf in Pierce County Juvenile Court to single counts of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and hit-and-run.

Deputy prosecutor John Neeb wrote in a declaration of probable cause that more charges could be added as the investigation continues.

The News Tribune is not publishing the boy’s name because he is being prosecuted as a juvenile.

Dylan Wilson, who his parents described as a happy-go-lucky kid, died in the crash, which occurred just after 4 p.m. on Veterans Drive Southwest at Interlaaken Drive Southwest.

Two other boys, 14 and 11, were hurt, as was the driver.

No one else has been charged.

Deputy prosecutor Elizabeth Vincent, bolstered by a recommendation from a probation officer who cited “the nature of the allegations,” argued that the 14-year-old should be held at Remann Hall Juvenile Detention Center pending the outcome of his case.

The boy’s attorney, Melissa Gomez, argued that her client should be released on electronic home monitoring. The boy has good attendance at his middle school and would benefit from returning there, Gomez said.

The alleged driver’s father then addressed Court Commissioner Clint Johnson. He called his son “a good kid” and guaranteed the boy would abide by any conditions of release Johnson imposed.

“I’m truly sorry for all this that’s going on,” the father said. “I’m sorry for the loss. It could have been my child. It could have been anybody’s child.”

Johnson opted for detention.

“We’re going to keep (him) here for a while while this case moves forward and the investigation is continuing, to make sure the community is safe, and, because of the seriousness of the crime, we know where (he) is at all times,” the commissioner said.

According to charging papers, the boy was at the wheel of a black car with another 14-year-old in the front passenger seat and Wilson and the other boy in back.

The documents did not report where the alleged driver got the car.

The car and another vehicle collided on Gravelly Lake Boulevard before the boys’ car sped off down Veterans Drive. Witnesses reported it was traveling erratically before it went out of control and hit a power pole.

The driver and front-seat passenger ran off, leaving the two younger boys behind, court records state. Wilson suffered major head trauma and later died.

At least two witnesses identified the 14-year-old boy charged Thursday as the driver, and he was arrested. He initially denied being behind the wheel, court records state.

“As he was being put into the patrol car, the respondent said, ‘Please tell those kids I’m sorry,’ ” Neeb wrote in the declaration for probable cause. “On the drive, the respondent was crying and kept saying he was ‘sorry’ and ‘God, please help them.’ ”

Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644, @TNTAdam

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