Thurston County judge awards 14-month sentence in vehicular assault case

A 45-year-old man will serve a 14-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to two counts of vehicular assault Thursday in Thurston County Superior Court.

Michael R. McDonald was arrested May 16, 2014 after he drove northbound in the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 near Nisqually. He struck another vehicle head-on, injuring the car’s driver and passenger.

According to court documents, McDonald was under the influence of narcotics at the time of the collision.

Judge Anne Hirsch sentenced McDonald to the maximum term for vehicular assault, and also required that he be treated for substance abuse.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jim Powers said that the victims in the case are still receiving medical treatment for their injuries, and that they have endured considerable pain and suffering.

Office of Assigned Counsel attorney Eric Pilon, who represented McDonald, said that his client is sorry for his actions, and that the collision was a tragedy for all involved.

“I think this is a really tragic situation,” Pilon said. “This is exactly the ramification of drugs in our society.”