Oak Harbor man charged with vehicular homicide

The driver in a fatal, crash on Whidbey Island had a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit.

The driver in a fatal, single-car crash on Whidbey Island last spring had a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit, according to court documents.

Prosecutors charged Andrew D. Murray, 22, in Island County Superior Court Feb. 16 with vehicular homicide.

Daniel Sander, a 23-year-old Navy man, husband and father of two, was pronounced dead at the scene of the one-car accident on April 2, 2023. He was an aviation support equipment technician second class assigned to Fleet Readiness Center Northwest, according to a Naval Air Station Whidbey Island spokesperson.

A detective with the Washington State Patrol investigated the crash, which occurred just before 2 a.m. on Highway 20 near the intersection with Madrona Way. The detective’s report states that Murray was driving a 2021 Ford F-150 pickup at more than 100 mph and failed to negotiate a curve. The truck left the roadway, struck a power pole, traveled through brush and into a large field, where it “rolled uphill.”

The truck came to rest 420 feet from the roadway.

Sander, who was in the front passenger seat, succumbed to injuries at the scene of the crash. He was wearing a seat belt and airbags had deployed.

Murray and the rear seat passenger, 22-year-old Timothy Chon, were both injured and transported to WhidbeyHealth Medical Center.

Murray told a trooper at the scene of the crash that he had been “an idiot” and admitted to having eight or nine drinks that day, according to the detective’s report.

The report indicates that the three men had been at a bar in Oak Harbor and were driving back to Coupeville when the crash occurred. The “event data recorder” on the truck showed that the truck was traveling at 106 mph a half second before the airbags deployed, the detective wrote.

The trooper obtained a search warrant to get a sample of Murray’s blood for a test of the alcohol level. The results showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.12, which is above the legal limit of 0.08.