King County prosecutors charged a 31-year-old Renton man Aug. 27 with two counts of vehicular homicide in connection with the deaths of two Des Moines women Aug. 24 in a three-car accident in Kent.
Gregory Aurdell Ross was allegedly under the influence of drugs while driving a 2001 Ford Explorer that ran a red light while southbound on 108th Avenue Southeast and crashed into a Kia sedan occupied by the two Des Moines women at the intersection of Southeast 208th Street, according to court documents.
Ross told Kent Police that he was taking prescribed medication (trazodone, tegretol and carbamazepine) and had used methamphetamine, marijuana and alcohol in the previous few days. Police found a meth pipe in his car. The prescribed medications are commonly used to treat depression or seizure disorders.
Ross is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Sept. 9 at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. He remained in custody Aug. 27 at the Kent city jail. Bail is set at $1 million.
If found guilty of vehicular homicide, Ross faces a prison sentence of up to 4 years, six months, according to state sentencing guidelines, said Ian Goodhew, spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
The victims were Kiana Cormier, 24, and Jessica Stenseth, 23, according to the Kent Police. Police initially had reported that a man and a woman died in the crash. The Kia was lawfully in the intersection, according to probable cause documents filed by the police.
The Kia veered away from the impact with the Ford Explorer and collided with an eastbound Mitsubishi sedan. All three cars came to rest alongside each other on the south side of the street.
Kent Police and firefighters arrived within minutes of the accident and worked quickly to extricate Cormier and Stenseth, the driver, from the Kia, which landed on its side. Both died at the scene.
A SeaTac man, who drove the Mitsubishi, was uninjured.
Ross reportedly failed field sobriety tests and kept falling asleep while police tried to interview him after the 8:46 p.m. crash, according to charging papers.
Ross has a criminal record that includes fourth-degree assault, harassment, third-degree theft and false reporting, according to court documents.