DUI driver Jeffrey Lewellen crossed center line and
killed Diane Sturlaugson in a head-on crash
CLINTON, WASHINGTON – Washington State Patrol Trooper B. Ashton reports that a fatal crash took place on Memorial Day weekend on Bailey Road in Clinton, Wash., when a 1996 Honda operated by Jeffrey Lewellen, 30, of Clinton, Wash., crossed the center line in his vehicle and struck a 2009 Vespa head-on, killing the operator.
The fatal crash took place near the end of the Memorial Day weekend at 8:26 pm on May 29, 2017.
Diane F. Sturlaugson, of Lake Stevens, was wearing a helmet. Lewellen was jailed on DUI vehicular homicide charges in the Island County Jail.
Agency Court Billing
May 29 2017 8:42 PM WSP SUP ICSO $0 DUI
May 29 2017 8:42 PM WSP SUP ICSO $0 VEHICULAR HOMICIDE
May 29 2017 8:42 PM WSP SUP ICSO $0 DWLS 3RD
Island County Prosecutor brings formal charges in Superior Court
According to the police report, witnesses reported seeing Lewellen’s gray Honda Civic traveling at a high speed and “attempting to pass other vehicles by crossing over the centerline” when the collision occurred. Lewellen later confirmed the witness statements, allegedly telling a state trooper that the accident occurred while he was negotiating a curve in the opposing lane of traffic. A moped was “suddenly right in front of him” and Lewellen couldn’t avoid Sturlaugson, wrote Trooper Brent Ashton with the Washington State Patrol.
“He added that the crash was all his fault and that whatever I needed to do was OK,” Ashton wrote in the report.
Lewellen was often apologetic about the events, but at times was “melancholy and contrite, while at other times he became argumentative and made threats to urinate in my patrol vehicle,” according to the report.
The report goes on to state that Ashton smelled “a strong odor of intoxicants,” while speaking with Lewellen. Lewellen agreed to field sobriety tests and said he had drunk one beer at 4 p.m., about four hours prior to the wreck. He added he had used medical marijuana two nights earlier.
During the tests, Lewellen was reported to have swayed from side to side “by approximately three to four inches in all directions.” In later tests, he stepped offline.
Lewellen’s passengers grabbed their backpacks and fled like scum and cowards while nearby resident tried to save the life of Diane
The police report also mentions that two passengers in the vehicle fled the scene on foot before law enforcement arrived. Clinton resident Bert Harvey, who lives near the crash site, said he saw two men grab backpacks out of the car and head for Scatchet Head.
“I triaged all three before starting compressions on Diane,” Harvey said. “They grabbed backpacks out of the car and ran while others were trying to save the victim’s life.”