Berry gets eight years for fatal crash

A Port Orchard man who reportedly drank several beers and ignored his passengers’ pleas to slow down before sailing through a stop sign and killing two people in an oncoming car was sentenced to more than eight years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide charges, according to Kitsap County Deputy Prosecutor Claire Bradley.

Brian Timothy Berry Jr., 20, was charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and one count of vehicular assault, all felonies, after the crash last June.

Bradley said she requested Berry receive 99 months, the top end of the sentencing range, and the judge — a Jefferson County Superior Court official visiting the jurisdiction on another matter — imposed the maximum penalty.

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 that night at Harborview Medical Center after being airlifted with one of her passengers, 31-year-old Aaron Belair.

Belair survived the crash, spending several weeks in the hospital with a severe head injury, punctured lung and a fractured pelvis.

The third occupant of Adam’s car, 25-year-old South Kitsap resident Jeremiah David Enderud, died at the scene.

Bradley said Adams left behind a 4-year-old son, and Enderud had twin daughters, who are also very young.

Berry was also airlifted to Harborview with serious injuries that night. 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 because, based on the incident report, 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.

According to court documents, Berry’s male passenger told police Berry drank “three or four beers” before the accident. Tests revealed his blood alcohol level was above the legal limit at .14.

Berry’s 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 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, Berry’s driving record shows several prior traffic infractions and license suspensions for speeding and driving while intoxicated.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates