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Two charged after race across Narrows Bridge results in injury crash

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Aug. 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
August 12, 2011 1:26 pm

Pierce County prosecutors have charged two men in connection with a high-speed race on state Route 16 near the Tacoma Narrows Bridge last month that ended in a crash and left two bystanders injured.

Prosecutors allege Richard Hernandez Vadillo, 21, and Peter F. Hungate, 54, raced eastbound from the Narrows Bridge toll plaza. They crossed the bridge at speeds between 85 and 100 mph the night of July 1, court documents state. Vadillo was driving a black BMW; Hungate a white Porsche.

When Vadillo tried to pass the Porsche near Jackson Avenue, he struck the back of a gold Honda Accord, court documents state. The Honda rolled and came to a rest on its top.

The two women inside the Honda were injured and treated at a local hospital. Vadillo and a passenger in his car also were injured.

Troopers suspected Vadillo might be intoxicated because his eyes were red and watery and his breath smelled of alcohol. His blood alcohol level was .08, court documents state.

Prosecutors charged Vadillo last month with vehicular assault. He pleaded not guilty.

The Porsche didn’t stop. Washington State Patrol troopers identified Hungate as the driver after reviewing surveillance video from the toll plaza, interviewing witnesses and contacting a Porsche dealership in Tacoma, court documents state.

Prosecutors charged Hungate with vehicular assault and failure to remain at the scene of an injury accident. He pleaded not guilty during a court appearance today and was released on his own recognizance.

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