FOLLOWUP: Driver in deadly crash charged with vehicular homicide, felony hit-and-run

Two felony charges are now filed against the driver found hiding after crashing his car on Ambaum just south of White Center early last Friday, killing his passenger. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has charged 24-year-old Thuan A. Phan of Kent with vehicular homicide and hit-and-run. Charging documents say Phan was driving the “recently purchased” 2013 BMW southbound on Ambaum at high speed when he lost control at the “S” curves around 119th and slammed into the jersey barrier. 26-year-old Benjamin J. Smith was wearing his seat belt in the front passenger seat but suffered deadly head injuries because of how the car hit the concrete barrier. Nearby residents told deputies that they saw a man climb out of the car after the crash and run away screaming; the Guardian One helicopter spotted him hiding under a pickup truck at a home a few blocks away, his only injuries described as scratches on his legs and neck abrasions. He claimed he had been in the passenger seat and also said he remembered leaving a club; a deputy noticed he smelled like “intoxicants.” Prosecutors asked that Phan’s bail remain at a quarter-million dollars because he had left the crash scene and was reportedly trying to get friends and family to come pick him up.

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