Double dose of antidepressants might have caused fatal Tacoma crash

A 73-year-old woman had more than twice the recommended dosage of an antidepressant in her system when she ran a stop sign in Tacoma and hit another car, killing the passenger, records show.

Pierce County prosecutors Monday charged Frances Marquart with vehicle homicide for the April 1 crash that left Ronald Curtis dead.

Marquart is to be arraigned Aug. 8.

The collision happened at South 40th Street and South Yakima Avenue. Police and charging papers gave this account:

Marquart was driving a 2012 Ford Focus when she ran a stop sign and hit a 1994 Lexus sedan traveling north on South Yakima Avenue, causing it to spin out before stopping on the sidewalk.

Curtis, 58, of Puyallup was trapped in the passenger seat and pronounced dead at the scene.

Curtis’ friend told officers she was driving him to the hospital when the other car hit them.

Marquart said she was heading from Lakewood to a physical therapy appointment in Tacoma. Her appointment was at 1:15 p.m. The wreck was at 3:50 p.m.

Her “demeanor seemed very lackadaisical in response to the type of collision that she was in,” according to charging papers.

Officers noted Marquart had trouble following simple questions and swayed back and forth while speaking to police. She had “almost no reaction” when hearing Curtis was dead.

Blood tests showed she had more than double the recommended dose of an antidepressant in her system.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

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