Rochester man charged with vehicular homicide

A Thurston County judge set bail at $10,000 for a Rochester man accused of vehicular homicide.

Corey Tribble, 40, had initially been charged with first-degree vehicular assault after his car collided with another vehicle Dec. 11 on state Route 507. The other driver, Kenneth Brackett of Rainier, was transported to Harborview Medical Center and died of his injuries later that month.

Tribble was arrested Thursday for vehicular homicide, and he pleaded not guilty to the charge at a Friday Thurston County Superior Court hearing. Judge Anne Hirsch set bail at $10,000 and prohibited him from driving.

Hirsch said Tribble has faced six driving infractions since 2008 — including tickets for speeding and following too closely. She said Tribble is likely a danger to the community while he is driving.

“I am very concerned about community safety in this case,” Hirsch said.

Court documents give the following account of the events leading to Tribble’s arrest:

About 7:30 a.m. Dec. 11, a Washington State Patrol trooper responded to reports of a collision at milepost 25 of Route 507. He found a maroon Honda Accord blocking the southbound lane and a green vehicle in the ditch.

Brackett, the driver of the green vehicle, had injuries to his leg and arm, and was transported to Harborview Medical Center.

The driver of the maroon vehicle, Tribble, told the trooper he had been heading north and tried to pass some slower vehicles. He said he was in a legal passing zone at the time.

While he was trying to drive back into his lane, he swerved to miss a small object. He said he lost control of his car and crashed into the green vehicle.

Witnesses at the scene said Tribble was driving too fast and had tried to pass too many vehicles at once. One witness estimated he had tried to pass about eight cars.

The trooper determined Tribble had shown disregard for the safety of others and that he had tried to pass multiple vehicles in a no-passing zone on a blind corner.

During the Friday hearing, attorney Paul Strophy asked that his client be released on his personal recognizance because he isn’t a flight risk. He said Tribble is a teacher in Yelm and he has strong ties to the community. He also said Tribble has no criminal history.

“The great weight of the evidence shows that he is not likely to commit any violent crimes,” Strophy said.

After the judge set bail at $10,000, Strophy said his client will likely post bail soon, and asked Hirsch for permission for Tribble to drive Saturday so he can take a Department of Licensing test to maintain his driver’s license.

Hirsch said Tribble could only drive when a Department of Licensing employee is in the car, and that a friend would have to drive him to and from the test.