FIFE, Wash. - Police in Fife tell KIRO 7’s Kevin McCarty an Edgewood man drove his car off the road speeding on a dangerous curve while drunk with his 9-month-old daughter in his lap and his 2-year-old son riding in the backseat with no seat belt or child safety seat.
Michael Brecheen, who told a judge he just moved to the area from Oklahoma a week ago, was driving on Freeman Road in Fife on Tuesday when officers said he tried to pass a car on the curve exceeding the posted 25 mile per hour speed limit. Witnesses said he lost control and went over a steep embankment, nearly hitting a utility pole. A photograph of the crash scene obtained by KIRO 7 shows what appears to be a guard railing and debris near the car. Fife police Lt. Tom Thompson said as other drivers rushed to help Brecheen, they saw his infant daughter on his lap in the driver’s seat and his son in the bank seat unrestrained.
Brecheen took the children from the car and left the scene walking them to his in-law’s home several blocks away, Thompson said. As officers arrived they spotted Brecheen walking back toward his car and placed him under arrest. Thompson said a breathalyzer measured his blood alcohol level at more than twice the legal limit. He and the children were not injured.
Brecheen pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, reckless driving and two counts of reckless endangerment in Fife Municipal court on Wednesday. He was ordered held on $1,000 bail.
Brecheen’s wife Jennifer had asked the judge to release her husband without saying the couple had just moved to the area to stay with her parents and that he was about to start a new job. She refused to comment on the charges or the allegations that the children were both riding in the car without being safely belted into car seats as the law requires.
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