Prosecutors Dismiss Vehicular Homicide Charge Against Woman
The Yakima County Prosecutors office has decided not to charge a woman with vehicular homicide after determining they don't have the evidence. Prosecutors say they've dismissed the case against Diane Hughes who involved in a single vehicle roll over crash in July of 2018. Hughes and her passenger were ejected and the passenger, Patrick Carpentar died at a Seattle hospital. Hughes had a spinal cord injury that has led to paralysis according to a news release.
The release says Hughes's blood showed that she had Methamphetamine in her system at the time of the crash. But prosecutors say during the yearlong investigation and prosecution it was clear that a case of vehicular homicide couldn't be supported by the evidence.
The release adds "to successfully prove the crime of Vehicular Homicide, the State must prove impairment and that the impairment was, in fact, the proximate cause of the crash that lead to Mr. Carpenter's death. To prove proximate cause the State must show that there were no unexpected events between Ms. Hughes's act of driving while impaired by methamphetamine and the fatal crash. After a thorough investigation of the facts, it has become clear that the crash was the direct result of an unexpected failure of the rear passenger tire. The rear passenger tire was a retreaded tire that failed while Ms. Hughes was driving on Interstate 82. Because the failure of the retread tire is the superseding cause of the crash, the state is unable to prove that Ms. Hughes's impaired driving was the proximate cause of the July 11,2018 crash that killed Mr. Carpenter.
Based on the totality of the evidence, the State dismissed the case without prejudice in the interests of justice. If any additional evidence comes to light, the State will evaluate the case anew."