Charges filed against drunk driver in fatal Ship Canal Bridge crash

Charges were filed Thursday against the man arrested for the crash on the Ship Canal Bridge in Seattle on Tuesday that killed 22-year-old Jordan Shelley, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office announced.

22-year-old Justin Kuo of Seattle was charged with one count of felony vehicular homicide and one count of reckless driving.

According to charging documents, around 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Shelley’s car became disabled in the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 on the Ship Canal Bridge.

Shelley pulled his vehicle over on the right shoulder with his hazard lights and headlights on. According to documents, the car was partially in a travel lane.

Shelley called his girlfriend to come and pick him up at his car.

A witness who drove by prior to the crash said they saw a man they believed to be Shelley standing outside his car on the shoulder of the road.

Documents say that Kuo was traveling southbound on I-5 when he hit the rear of Shelley’s car, causing both cars to flip over onto their tops.

Shelley’s girlfriend arrived moments after the crash and could not find Shelley, but did find his cellphone near the area of impact.

According to documents, when Washington State Patrol troopers arrived, they found “biological matter” on the metal tubing that runs across the top of the jersey barrier separating the roadway from the Ship Canal waterway below.


The fact that Shelley was waiting for his girlfriend and had been observed by at least one witness who saw him outside of his car, combined with the biological matter on the railing, led law enforcement to believe that Shelley was hit in the crash and then thrown over the barrier into the Ship Canal waterway.

According to charging documents, Kuo smelled strongly of alcohol but initially denied that he had consumed any.

A breath test showed his alcohol level to be above the legal limit of .08.

Kuo would later admit to drinking several alcoholic drinks that night and speeding to “70-80 mph.”

Kuo was placed under arrest on suspicion of DUI.

Seattle Police marine and dive units found Shelley’s body in the water around 9 a.m.

According to documents, he had suffered an “enormous catastrophic nearly foot long deep gash on his abdomen,” which matched with the biological matter found on the railing.

Charging documents state that Kuo has a history of speeding and was cited in February 2020, but has no other known criminal history.