Crime

Olympia man to serve 10 years, 4 months in prison for vehicular homicide

A 22-year-old Olympia man will serve more than 10 years in prison for crashing into a tree and killing a 21-year-old passenger in 2013.

A jury found Dylan J. Womer guilty of vehicular homicide on Dec. 11, and he was sentenced Tuesday morning before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Erik Price.

David L. Helms of Seaside, Oregon, died at the scene of the Cooper Point Road collision on April 25, 2013. Womer had been driving about 80 mph in a 40 mph zone and lost control of his car. The car hit a tree, according to court documents.

The Washington State Patrol responded to the scene, and a trooper reported that Womer smelled strongly of alcohol. Womer was transferred to the hospital, where he told staff that he had used both marijuana and methamphetamine before driving, according to court documents.

Thurston County deputy prosecutor Olivia Zhou asked for an 11-year, 6-month sentence — the maximum sentence for the crime, based on Womer’s criminal history. He has seven criminal convictions, including a driving under the influence conviction from 2010, according to court documents.

Nolan Anderson, Helms’ grandfather, echoed Zhou and asked for the strictest sentence possible.

“I want the court to show him the same consideration he showed David, which was none,” Nolan Anderson said.

Regina Anderson told the judge that Helms has a 2-year-old son who will never know his father and that the rest of their family will miss him, too.

“David considered Mr. Womer his friend, and Mr. Womer called David his friend,” Regina Anderson said. “But he didn’t treat him that way. At no time have I ever heard him say to us he was sorry.”

Womer did apologize to the family at the hearing, and defense attorney Karl Hack said his client has shown remorse.

Price settled on a 10-year, 4-month prison sentence for Womer, the median sentence for the conviction.

He advised Womer to learn from his mistakes and use the prison time as an opportunity to get clean and turn his life around. The judge said Womer will still be a young man when he’s released from prison, so he’ll have plenty of time to lead a good life.

“When you go to prison, you can get clean and get away from the influences you have here,” Price said.

“You took that chance away from Mr. Helms, so the best way to honor him would be to turn your life around,” he added.

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