Crime

Police say drinking — not pregnancy — likely in fatal crash

An Auburn woman pleaded not guilty Monday in Pierce County Superior Court to vehicular homicide in connection with a fatal wreck Thursday on East Valley Highway.

Kelli Lynn Martin, 37, is being held at the Pierce County Jail in lieu of $60,000 bail for allegedly causing a head-on collision that killed Bill Bishop, 67, of Orting.

According to court documents:

Martin had been drinking with friends Thursday evening in Puyallup before driving north.

About 7:20 p.m., her car and Bishop’s southbound SUV collided near East Valley Highway’s intersection with Lake Tapps Parkway in Pierce County.

As first responders tried to revive Bishop, an Auburn police officer interviewed Martin, who told the officer she fell asleep.

One witness said it appeared as if Martin was trying to pass the vehicle in front of her when she went into the opposite lane and hit Bishop’s SUV.

Other witnesses told police Martin said she fell asleep and was 18 weeks pregnant with twins, before saying she was out drinking with friends.

She asked one witness for a piece of gum.

“They are going to smell alcohol on my breath,” Martin told the witness.

Police later determined Martin was not pregnant.

Martin suffered injuries in the crash and was taken to Valley Medical Center in Renton, where an officer had blood samples taken before her treatment.

The samples were sent to the state toxicology laboratory for analysis. Test results are pending.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker

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