LAKEWOOD, Wash. — UPDATE, March 9: Montrell Tormel Red, 23, was charged with three counts of vehicular homicide and failure to remain at an injury accident following the deadly March 8 collision on Interstate 5.
According to witnesses, around 2 a.m. Red was driving a silver 2002 Nissan Maxima when he entered southbound Interstate 5 at Bridgeport Way, then attempted to make a lane change around a slower vehicle and lost control.
Red crossed all lanes to the left and struck a green 1999 Honda CR-V also travelling southbound in the far-left lane, prosecutors said. All three occupants died at the scene.
Prosecutors said that In an interview with detectives, Red admitted to smoking marijuana daily and taking Xanax to enhance his high. He also admitted to receiving a text message and looking at his phone while he was on the freeway.
Bail was set at $750,000.00.
ORIGINAL STORY: Two of the three people killed in a DUI crash Thursday morning on southbound Interstate 5 have been identified.
30-year-old Jaime Pelayo and 44-year-old Sherry Rodriguez were killed after the SUV they were in was sideswiped, forcing it to roll. Both victims were from Kelso. A 51-year-old male victim has not been identified.
According to troopers the suspect, 23-year-old Montrell Red, passed a semi-truck in the slow lane and then crossed over into two left lanes, hitting the SUV.
The impact sent the vehicle into the abutment for the New York Avenue overpass over I-5.
The crash was so severe the engine ended up on the other side of the freeway.
Troopers say the driver who caused the crash fled the scene, but thanks to a Good Samaritan, police were able to arrest Red.
Investigators say Red was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. Red tried to get away after the crash but an off-duty Seattle Police dispatcher witnessed the crash, followed him and called 911.
The good Samaritan told KIRO 7, "I'm a dispatcher trained to always ask people not to follow but after hearing the screams -- I took off and caught up to him and stood by watching him till officers took him into custody."
"My heart breaks for the family members that lost their loved ones tonight."
WSP said Red was arrested on possible charges of DUI, hit-and-run, possession of a stolen firearm and three counts of vehicular homicide.
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