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Kent man charged with vehicular homicide in I-5 Seattle crash
King County prosecutors have charged a 24-year-old Kent man with vehicular homicide and vehicular assault for a May 1 crash along Interstate 5 in Seattle that killed one passenger in his car and injured three others.
Aneet Chandra is scheduled to be arraigned May 15 at the King County Courthouse in Seattle on the charges that were filed May 7, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
Chandra was allegedly driving at speeds of more than 80 mph when he lost control of his car and crashed into a guardrail near the West Seattle exit while southbound near downtown, according to charging papers. He was driving from the University District to Federal Way with six passengers in his 1992 Cadillac Eldorado. He was reportedly speeding and weaving around traffic before the 11:50 p.m. single-car wreck.
Chandra faces one count of vehicular homicide for the death of Asha Salim, 20, of Federal Way. He faces three counts of vehicular assault and two counts of reckless endangerment. He remains in the county jail in Seattle with bail set at $1 million.
As Chandra drove along the freeway, a front-seat passenger reportedly passed or showed a cellphone to Chandra that had a photo of a scantily clad woman. That allegedly distracted the driver and he lost control.
The front seat passenger suffered serious head trauma and he is on life support. Salim sat on the lap of a man in the back seat and was ejected from the car. She died at the scene.
The results of the blood-alcohol level test of Chandra are pending. He told State Patrol troopers he didn't think he had that much to drink. Troopers noted they could smell a strong and obvious odor of intoxicants coming from Chandra's breath. The group had been at a house party that included some drinking of alcohol. Witnesses saw Chandra take at least of couple of shots of vodka.
Two passengers were seated on the laps of other passengers in the back seat, according to charging papers. Paramedics transported the driver and five injured passengers to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Passenger medical reports are pending. Two of them had been released when chargers were filed and three remained hospitalized.
Chandra was treated and released after two days in the hospital. Officers transported him to the county jail.