Triple fatal crash suspect missing after hospital stay



Posted on June 12, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 13 at 2:34 PM

SEATTLE -- The Washington State Patrol is looking for a driver they say is responsible for the deaths of three people.

Alfredo Navarro Jr., 19, was critically injured when police say he caused a fatal accident near Sedro Woolley on May 23. But last Friday, Harborview Medical Center released him into his parents care, and now he's disappeared.

It's hard news to hear for the victims' families. Sitting with her husband's urn nearby, Minda Brand says they had a whole new life to look forward to.

"We were married since I was 19 and a half and he wasn’t quite 21," Minda Brand said. "We were looking forward to retirement, spending time with our grand kids."

But on May 23, Fred Brand left for work and she never saw him alive again.

He was driving west on Highway 20, when police say a blue Audi tried to pass a truck and hit him head on. Brand died, as did two women in the Audi.

Troopers noticed the driver, 19 –year-old Alfredo Navarro Jr., smelled of alcohol and found at least one beer in the car. Critically injured, he was transported to Harborview with no guard assigned to watch over him. Troopers did not consider him to be a flight risk.

"We have to look at several different factors if he’s a flight risk," said Trooper Keith Leary. "He has ties to the county. Does he live at that general area? We have to look at the injuries, who is going to care for him personally, conversations with family."

A Harborview spokesperson says it's up the state patrol to check on a patient's progress, not the other way around. After a two week stay, the hospital released Navarro to the care of his family, without telling police. Now Navarro has disappeared. Police point to his Facebook photos as a better depiction of what he looks like now.

The state patrol says they do periodic checks with the hospital on a patient's care, but when they checked in on Monday, Alfred Navarro Jr. had already been discharged.

"We’re not happy with the situation obviously," said Brand's daughter, Deborah Briggs.

Brand's family finds it hard to focus on anything except for what they've lost.

"It’s really hard," said Minda Brand. "I keep expecting him to walk in the door."
Navarro has previous convictions for DUI and reckless endangerment. If you see him, you should contact the Washington State Patrol.