Crime

State Patrol: Marijuana played role in July 4 crash that killed Oregon woman

Bail was set at $30,000 Monday for a man involved in a fatal car crash Saturday on Interstate 5 in Tumwater.

Seattle resident Patrick Lee Martin, 26, appeared in Thurston County Superior Court, accused of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence. Arraignment has been set for July 21.

The fatal incident happened at 5:39 a.m. Saturday near milepost 100 on northbound I-5. Martin was driving a white Chrysler 300 at speeds exceeding 100 mph when he crashed into a Volkswagen Jetta, causing that vehicle to roll into a ditch, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The Jetta’s driver — identified as Jennifer L. Barry, 43, of Beaverton, Oregon — died as a result of the crash.

Martin’s passenger, 31-year-old Shayna Harris, suffered minor injuries and was transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital.

At the scene, Martin told state troopers that he had fallen asleep while driving and awoke to see the victim’s car, but couldn’t avoid crashing into it, according to court documents. Troopers smelled marijuana on Martin and conducted an evaluation with a drug recognition expert, who concluded Martin was under the influence.

The State Patrol also issued a search warrant for a blood test to determine whether Martin was intoxicated at the time of the crash, and results are pending, Trooper Guy Gill said.

The victim was likely driving close to the speed limit when Martin crashed into her from behind, Gill said. An ambulance driver from Lewis County had seen Martin’s vehicle pass him earlier on the freeway at about 120 mph, according to court documents.

“People tend to forget that you can be impaired by the use of marijuana, and this is just a tragic example,” Gill said. “This type of collision shouldn’t have happened.”

At Monday’s court hearing, Judge Gary Tabor prohibited Martin from using controlled substances including marijuana. Several members of Martin’s family attended the hearing, with some saying they would be praying for the victim’s family.

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