Victim sympathetic with woman accused of causing fatal crash

Holly Mattson went to Pierce County Superior Court on Tuesday to get her first look at the woman accused of nearly killing her this summer.

What Mattson saw left her sad.

State Department of Corrections officers pushed Virginia Christina Ramsey into court in a wheelchair for her arraignment on charges of second-degree murder, vehicular assault, attempting to elude a police officer and five other counts.

Pleas of not guilty were entered on Ramsey’s behalf. Court Commissioner Patrick Oishi set Ramsey’s bail at $750,000.

“I actually felt super sorry for her,” Mattson said outside court.

Mattson, 42, and Ramsey, 36, both suffered critical injuries in a July 26 collision on Pacific Highway South that killed Mattson’s boyfriend, Doug Simmons III. Simmons was 40.

Prosecutors allege Ramsey was fleeing police when she drove her car through a red light at Porter Way in Milton and collided with Simmons’ car.

Ramsey was being sought on two arrest warrants when she tried to elude a Federal Way police officer sent to intercept an impaired driver, according to court records.

Mattson, a passenger in Simmons’ car, said she doesn’t remember anything about the wreck. She suffered numerous injuries, including a torn aorta, ruptured spleen and damaged spine.

Mattson came to court in a neck brace, her left eye heavily bandaged. Her three sons accompanied her, as did her father and other relatives and friends.

“I’m healing,” she said. “I’m getting a little better every day.”

Mattson said Ramsey’s choices were “extremely selfish” but that she doesn’t hate her. She began to cry when she talked about Simmons and how he won’t be able to raise his daughters.

“It’s just inexcusable,” Mattson said.

Ramsey is being held at the Washington Corrections Center for Women near Purdy on a probation violation. She’ll continue to be held there on the new charges when her 75-day term expires Thursday.

Deputy prosecutor Tim Jones said the state has agreed to keep her in the women’s prison instead of transferring her to the Pierce County Jail, so she can receive the intensive medical treatment she needs.

State corrections officers will bring her to court for future hearings, Jones said.