The driver blamed for the crash that killed 34-year-old Shanna Huttenstine on Highway 167 early Tuesday had needles in his pockets and "what appeared to be marijuana," the Pierce County Prosecutor said Wednesday.
Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Anderson Hamilton, 48, with one count of vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault for causing the crash that killed Huttenstine and injured two others.
At midnight on March 4, the Huttenstine and her fiancé, Jason Speers, were travelling from Puyallup to Tacoma on River Road in a minivan taxi.
Hamilton, who was driving his pickup in the opposite direction, crossed through the center turn lane and struck the taxi head-on. Huttenstine died at the scene, Speers had minor injuries. Speers said Huttenstine was pregnant.
The taxi driver was taken to the hospital and was treated for serious injuries.
Lindquist said Hamilton refused to perform field sobriety tests for a drug recognition expert and based on the trooper's observations, the defendant appeared to be under the influence of drugs.
“This is another unfortunate example of why drugs and driving don’t mix,” said Lindquist.