Woman crashes car, faces felony charge
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
August 21, 2009 · 1:18 PM
A 23-year-old Oak Harbor woman has been charged with a felony in connection with an unusual one-car, rollover accident on North Whidbey last November, court documents state.
Prosecutors charged Rachel Lawson in Island County Superior Court Aug. 11 with vehicular assault. If convicted, she could face from three to nine months in jail under the standard sentencing range.
Deputy Lane Campbell with the Island County Sheriff’s Office was called out of bed in the early morning of Nov. 2 to investigate the accident at the intersection of Heller and Ault Field roads. He found that a 2002 Volkswagen Passat had come to rest on its top after hitting a couple of trees. Campbell wrote that the 24-year-old passenger suffered a broken collarbone and a broken nose; Lawson sustained minor injuries.
The injured man told the deputy that Lawson had been drinking prior to the accident, the report states. He said he and Lawson were sitting in their friend’s car, listening to the new stereo system, when Lawson suddenly started the vehicle and drove away.
The man said Lawson was driving fast as the car approached the curve in the road. He claimed Lawson had a “blank look” and didn’t slow down or make an attempt to steer through the curve. The man said he grabbed the steering wheel and tried to negotiate the curve, but the car was going too fast and crashed, Campbell wrote.
In an interview at the hospital, Lawson said someone must have laced her drink because her blood toxicology results showed she had opiates in her blood, Campbell wrote.
The state toxicology lab found that Lawson’s blood alcohol level was 0.10, which is just over the legal limit.Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at email@example.com or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.