A 22-year-old Kent man reportedly crashed his pickup twice earlier in the night prior to the wreck that killed his four passengers.
King County prosecutors charged Jesse Tenorio with four counts of vehicular homicide for the Oct. 7 crash along eastbound State Route 518 in Tukwila near the Interstate 405 interchange. He remains in the county jail in Seattle with bail set at $250,000. He is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 22 at the King County Courthouse in Seattle.
All four victims are from Kent – Myron Singh, 22; Luis Perez, 21; Juan Carrasco-Rodriguez, 18; and Anthony Perez, 22. They each died from multiple blunt force injuries, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. Carrasco-Rodriguez died on his 18th birthday in the 2:17 a.m. crash.
“The defendant had clearly been drinking when he had not one, but two accidents prior to killing all four of his passengers,” wrote Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Dana Cashman in charging papers filed Oct. 10 in King County Superior Court.
Tenorio, who was driving his mother’s 2004 Nissan Titan pickup, crashed the vehicle in Kent about 90 minutes prior to the quadruple fatality. Two Kent firefighters from Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority saw the Nissan traveling westbound on South 208th Street from State Route 515 (aka Benson Highway, 108th Avenue Southeast) when it passed them going an estimated 60 mph in a posted 40 mph zone and drifted into the oncoming lane. The pickup rounded the curved road and then went out of control and collided into a hillside on South 212th Street near State Route 167.
Firefighters positioned their fire engine in the road to block oncoming traffic. They contacted the five young men who all appeared to be consuming intoxicants, according to charging papers. Firefighters radioed for Kent Police to respond. While waiting for police, the occupants in the Nissan were able to get the truck unstuck and drove off.
At just after 2:10 a.m., a woman who was getting off her shift at Sea-Tac Airport saw the Nissan traveling an estimated 80 to 100 mph in a secured bus tunnel at the airport. The woman said the secured guard arm to the tunnel entrance had been run down and broken off by the pickup. She recognized the Nissan Titan later when she saw television news footage of the multiple fatality crash, which happened just minutes after she saw the pickup race through the tunnel.
Tenorio drifted off of SR 518 to the right and collided with a guardrail that protects support pillars to the southbound I-5 overpass. The pickup then rotated sideways and rolled, according to the Washington State Patrol. Tenorio was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected into nearby blackberry bushes.
During the rollover, the Nissan Titan’s roof struck the southbound I-5 overpass bridge pillar causing the roof to crush inwards onto the four passengers, one in the front passenger seat and three in the rear seat. The pickup then rotated around the backside of the pillar coming to a final rest facing westbound on its wheels. All four men died at the scene.
State Patrol investigators have not yet determined an estimated speed for the Nissan prior to the crash, but called it a “high rate” of speed in the initial accident report.
A State Patrol trooper contacted Tenorio in the back of the medic unit. Tenorio was drifting in and out of consciousness and was unable to answer questions. The trooper noted he could smell an odor of intoxicants coming from Tenorio. Paramedics transported Tenorio to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he was treated for injuries and released on Oct. 8. Troopers arrested Tenorio at the hospital for investigation of vehicular homicide.
Hospital personnel collected two vials of blood from Tenorio. The State Patrol will have the blood tested to determine a blood alcohol level.
Tenorio, whose address is in Kent’s North Park neighborhood, has a prior conviction for DUI in Kent in 2017 that was reduced to reckless endangerment, according to court documents.
It is unknown at this time how long of a sentence Tenorio might face if convicted as charged.
“It’s a bit early to determine what his sentence could be,” said a spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. “We have to check his criminal history and several other factors before we could make a proper assessment.”