Crime

Suspected drunken driver charged in I-5 crash that killed 2 in Tacoma

Pierce County prosecutors have charged a suspected drunken driver who crashed his car into a power pole on Interstate 5 in Tacoma, killing two passengers.

Dennis Mouth, 26, faces two counts of vehicular homicide, one count of vehicular assault and third-degree driving on a suspended or revoked license.

He was critically injured in the Feb. 27 crash near the Port of Tacoma off-ramp and was transferred to a hospital in Oregon, where he was kept on a breathing machine.

Investigators periodically checked on his status and discovered in May that he had been released to home care. They since have been unable to find him.

Killed in the crash were Elias J. Solis, 19, of Roslyn, and Vuthy Khim, 25, of Tacoma.

Charging papers give this account:

Mouth was driving a 2007 Lexus ES north on I-5 just before 12:30 a.m. when he apparently made a last-minute decision to take the Port of Tacoma off-ramp.

Witnesses said the car hit the hillside near the off-ramp, launched through the air and went down an embankment before hitting a wooden power pole.

All the occupants wore seat belts except Mouth, who was believed to be drunk after driving the group from a house party.

Solis, who was pinned in the back seat, was pronounced dead at the scene. Khim, who also was in the back seat, suffered major head trauma and was taken to an area hospital. He died March 1.

A 26-year-old front seat passenger suffered rib fractures and a laceration of a kidney.

Records show Mouth’s license was suspended at the time of the crash.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

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