PO man faces 10 years for fatal accident
June 12, 2008 · Updated 11:51 AM
A Port Orchard man whose passengers say he drank several beers and ignored pleas to slow down before sailing through a stop sign and killing two people in an oncoming car reported to Kitsap County Superior Court to face vehicular homicide charges on Monday.
Brian Timothy Berry Jr., 20, was booked into Kitsap County Jail at 4 p.m. after being arraigned on two counts of vehicular homicide and one count of vehicular assault, all felonies.
He is currently being held under $75,000 bail.
According to the Kitsap County Sheriff's incident report, on June 23 Berry was driving westbound on SE Cedar Road shortly after 11 p.m. when he failed to yield at the stop sign at Bethel Road and crashed into a car driven by Sylvia Marie Adams, 23, of Bremerton.
Adams died later that night at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after being airlifted with one of her passengers, 31-year-old Aaron Belair.
Belair ultimately survived the crash, but not before spending several weeks in the hospital with a severe head injury, punctured lung and a fractured pelvis.
The third occupant of Adams' car, 25-year-old South Kitsap resident Jeremiah David Enderud, died at the scene.
Berry was also airlifted to Harborview with serious injuries. His two passengers, an 18-year-old man and 16-year-old girl, both from South Kitsap, were transported to Harrison Hospital in Bremerton for treatment of less serious injuries.
Chris Casad, case manager for the Kitsap County Prosecutor's Office, said he found there was probable cause to charge Berry with vehicular homicide based on information provided in the incident report. Specifically, that Berry caused the death of at least one person when driving while intoxicated, in a reckless manner and with disregard for the safety of others.
Casad said any one of those three actions could lead to vehicular homicide charges.
According to court documents, Berry's male passenger allegedly told police that Berry drank three or four beers before the accident. Tests revealed that his blood alcohol level was .14, above the legal limit.
Berrys female passenger told police his driving that night scared her, and just before the accident she fastened her seatbelt and asked him to slow down, but he did not.
Casad said charges were filed five months after the accident because the Washington State Patrol investigators did not submit their report to his office until mid-October.
Casad said the standard range for each count of vehicular homicide, with no prior felonies or serious infractions, is between three and four years in prison.
According to court documents, Berrys driving record shows several prior traffic infractions and license suspensions for speeding and driving while intoxicated.
Berry's next court date is an omnibus hearing Dec. 8.
His trial is scheduled for Jan. 5.