Driver Killed in Accident Faced DUI Charges
By: Mary Ann Pekara
Mike Turner, a 20-year-old Washington resident, was facing already facing DUI charges when he a car he was driving collided with a metal pole, killing himself and two friends.
A month before the fatal crash, Turner was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving after he crashed a van into five parked cars and then collided head-on with a tree, the Seattle Times is reporting.
The crash that took the lives of Turner and his friends happened a mere 16 blocks from the scene of the first crash. The deadly collision happened while Turner was driving his 1986 Pontiac Firebird when it crashed into a metal pole near a Taco Time restaurant in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.
The crash, which occurred at nearly five in the morning, left three people dead and one in critical condition at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center. Turner and two other young men, Kellen S. Jones, 20, and Spenser Millard, 19, were those who were killed due to the blunt-force trauma injuries they received.
They were all graduates of Ballard High School. Former classmates recalled Turner and Millard’s enjoyment of American muscle cars, according to the Seattle Times.
Six charges were filed against Turner after the crash that happened a month ago. These included DUI, first-degree negligent driving and hit and run. As a result of Turner’s death, these charges were dismissed.
In that incident, at around 4 a.m. witnesses reported seeing a white van hit several cars and then speed away. Police were dispatched and found the van crashed into a tree. Turner had a dazed look on his face, according to the officers who found him. Groaning and curled up on the floor of the van was a passenger who had injuries to his ankle and to his face. That passenger was taken to the hospital for his injuries.
When police ordered Turner to exit the car, he allegedly had trouble doing so, and tried to get out through the driver’s door, which was blocked by a parked car. Turner had difficulty keeping his balance when he did get out of the car, according to the police report. Such was Turner’s state that police deemed it unsafe for him to perform a field sobriety test. He was placed under arrest.
Turner admitted that he had recently taken pills that he did not have a prescription for, the report said. The pills were found in his jacket at the time of his arrest, along with an unopened bottle of beer that was inside the van. Turner later couldn’t remember why he was arrested, or that the accident had happened at all.
Turner’s blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.14 percent, well above the 0.02 percent legal limit that applies to drivers under 21 years of age.
Typically, driver’s licenses are suspended for 90 days after someone is arrested for DUI. However, the suspension does not take effect until 60 days after an offense. Therefore, Turner’s driver’s license was still valid at the time of the accident that took the lives of him and his friends.