Deceased passenger in Monday night's wreck at Sunwood Lakes identified

Staff writerMarch 13, 2014 

The King County Medical Examiner has confirmed that William Komula Jr., 59, is the passenger who died Monday night after an alleged DUI driver smashed his Jeep Cherokee into a tree in the Sunwood Lakes development east of Lacey.

The driver, Ryan Cughan, 36, of Olympia, was being held at the Thurston County Jail Thursday on suspicion of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence. Cughan's bail is set at $50,000.

Court papers indicate Cughan smelled strongly of alcohol when emergency responders rushed to the scene of the single-vehicle wreck about 8:25 Monday night.

Cughan is accused of driving into a tree in the 7600 block of Thru Lake Drive SE in the Sunwood Lakes Development. Deputies arrived to find a Jeep Cherokee in a ditch, with the front end up against a tree. Komula was partially ejected from the vehicle. He died after being airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

A forensic pathologist at the King County Medical Examiner's Office said Thursday that Komula died of blunt force and internal injuries.

Cughan was taken to a Thurston County hospital with minor injuries. He told deputies he had three beers before driving, and later said he only had one beer, court papers state.

Cughan's court-appointed attorney, Deborah Murphy, said in court Tuesday that Cughan has been prescribed medication for mental health issues in the past. She did not say in court whether he was under the influence of any medications at the time of Monday night's crash.


Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445;

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