Mountlake Terrace resident Desiree Morin, 49, was arrested following a fatal collision with a motorcyclist in the 11100 block of Evergreen Way in Everett last week.
According to probable cause documents filed in Snohomish County Superior Court, Everett police were dispatched to the collision shortly before 8:30 p.m. on Friday, May 20. They observed that Morin’s Honda Accord sedan had significant damage to its front end and was partially in the northbound oncoming lane of Evergreen Way. A heavily damaged motorcycle was laying nearby in the northbound lanes and farther north its rider was down in the street, bleeding profusely.
The police report noted it appeared as if the Accord was traveling southbound in the middle turn lane and was making a left turn into BECU, when it turned into the path of the northbound motorcycle, causing the collision and the motorcycle rider to be ejected and thrown farther north. The motorcyclist had the right of way.
A male occupant of the Accord initially told police that he was the driver, and Morin identified herself as the car’s passenger during the collision.
However, police observed that the car’s driver’s seat was pulled very far forward and had a cushion on it as if a smaller person was sitting in the seat and required to be closer to the vehicle’s steering wheel and higher up. The Accord’s passenger seat was pushed farther back and had more leg room than the driver’s seat as if a larger person had been sitting in it.
Police noted that Morin is 5 feet, 3 inches tall and the male occupant of the vehicle is 5 feet, 7 inches tall, which led them to believe that based on the seat positions he would not have fit in the driver’s seat. Furthermore, he had a right shoulder injury they felt was inconsistent with a driver’s injury and more consistent with that of a passenger-side injury. Police suspected this injury was sustained by his shoulder hitting the B-pillar of the vehicle’s passenger side.
Upon being challenged about their assertions of who was driving and who was the passenger, Morin and the other occupant recanted and admitted that she was the car’s driver.
Morin was observed to be “very jittery and high energy,” which police recognized as behaviors consistent with using drugs. During subsequent field sobriety tests, she had problems evaluating the passage of time. Morin initially took 42 seconds to estimate the passage of 30 seconds, and then less than 20 seconds to estimate the time passage during her second attempt.
Police noted the time dilation is consistent with drug intoxication and also observed that her pupils were slightly constricted and did not respond to the flashing of their flashlight — also consistent with intoxication.
Morin eventually admitted that she had taken a hit of methamphetamine earlier that morning, which she said was due to pressure from an ex-boyfriend.
Based upon the evidence, including her admissions and behavior, police determined there was reason to believe that Morin had been driving the Accord at the time of the collision and was under the influence of intoxicants. Furthermore, they believed that her ability to drive a vehicle was diminished due to her admitted consumption of methamphetamine.
Witnesses to the collision reported that the motorcyclist was not excessively speeding or driving recklessly. The conditions of the roadway at the time of the collision were clear and the weather and roadway were both dry. That particular stretch of Evergreen Way is flat with clear visibility for upwards of a two-mile sight distance and the area is lit with roadway lights in addition to businesses that are illuminated.
Police determined there was reason to believe that Morin had caused the collision based upon her vehicle turning into the pathway of the motorcycle that was not driving recklessly on an open-view road. And they believed that her impairment due to drugs was a contributing factor to the collision.
Morin was placed under arrest for DUI and a subsequent search found her to be in possession of a meth pipe and small plastic baggies.
She later stated that she did not see the motorcycle driver until the vehicle was upon her.
Police were later informed that the motorcycle rider had died as a result of injuries incurred from the collision, in particular due to a head injury and brain bleed. They determined there was probable cause to also arrest Morin for vehicular homicide while under the influence of intoxicants, which is a Class A felony. She was subsequently transported and booked into the Snohomish County Jail. Her bail was set Monday at $50,000.
On Tuesday, the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office completed its examination and confirmed the identification of the 34-year-old male motorcyclist who was killed in the collision. He is not being named out of respect for the family and his cause of death was blunt force injuries.
— By Nathan Blackwell