Driver charged in I-90 wreck

SEATTLE - A Snoqualmie woman who police say is responsible for a fatal car accident on Nov. 18 on Interstate 90 was arraigned Monday in King County Superior Court, charged with one count of vehicular homicide and one count of vehicular assault.

Debra Acey, 40, pleaded not guilty to the charges at the County Courthouse in Seattle. She was arrested at the scene of the accident that killed one woman from Kennewick and seriously injured another from Edmonds. The collision happened about 8 p.m. Nov. 18 on I-90 near Exit 27, where Acey's Isuzu Rodeo hit the Honda Accord the two women were traveling in head on.

Documents filed by King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng said Acey was driving down the wrong side of I-90 when the accident occurred. The Washington State Patrol had received calls shortly before 8 p.m. of an erratic driver on the interstate. Witnesses estimated the Rodeo's speed fluctuated between 15 mph to 90 mph on the 70 mph highway.

State troopers believe Acey somehow turned around and started heading westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-90 before she hit the car driven by 20-year-old Tracey Fischer, who had picked up her friend, 20-year-old Erin Klotz, from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. They were heading back to Ellensburg, where they both attended Central Washington University.

Snoqualmie Department of Public Safety-Police Division officers sent to respond to the erratic driver call caught up with Acey, but not before the accident. They found Klotz dead at the scene and Fischer had been seriously injured.

Acey was injured in the accident as well, but was able to answer questions from state troopers. When asked if she had been drinking, Acey replied, "A little," according to court papers.

State troopers who responded to the accident found that Acey smelled of alcohol and they drew a blood sample, which later showed her as having a blood alcohol level of 0.3 percent, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent, the Prosecutor's Office said.

Interviews with Acey by law enforcement personnel later revealed that she was heading to the Preston General Store to buy Thanksgiving cards. She reportedly said she had drank three glasses of wine and taken two different types of sedatives before driving.

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