A man who didn’t take his medication to prevent seizures before causing a four-car crash in Fife that killed a man pleaded not guilty Friday to vehicular homicide.
Two weeks after 27-year-old Kevin Cheetham was charged, he made his first court appearance Friday.
A judge ordered Cheetham to stay on his medication and not to drive a vehicle unless a doctor writes a note saying it is safe.
Cheetham wasn’t taken into custody immediately after the hearing but he was ordered to report to Pierce County Jail within a few hours.
Prosecutors contend Cheetham is responsible for the death of Tanner Munden, a 38-year-old Puyallup man who died March 13 on 70th Avenue East near Valley Avenue East.
Charging papers give this account:
Cheetham was driving more than 70 mph on 70th Avenue East. The speed limit there is 35 mph.
He drove his compact car just after 1 p.m. into the back of Munden’s sedan, which was stopped with several other vehicles at a red light waiting to turn onto Valley Avenue East.
The impact caused Munden’s vehicle to accelerate to 36 mph and pushed it into the back of an SUV, which then hit a parked box truck.
Neither of the other two drivers were injured.
Munden, who was wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials said he suffered a torn aorta and transected spinal cord.
A Fife police officer who responded to the scene found a bottle of pills in Cheetham’s car. Cheetham later told investigators he didn’t remember taking his medications the day of the crash or the day before.
He only recalled eating lunch with his mother that day and then driving down the road. Cheetham told police he doesn’t recall the collision, which sent him to the hospital because he was dazed.
Blood tests did not show drugs or alcohol in Cheetham’s blood.
Cox Media Group