Prosecutor files multiple charges against Auburn man for high-speed crash in Kent

Witnesses say car reached over 100 mph before smashing into another vehicle


Witnesses estimated Shawn Bowser was doing well in excess of 100 mph in a posted 50 mph speed zone the morning that he smashed into the back of a Toyota Camry March 26 in the 9700 block of South 277th Street in Kent.

Police found the 54-year-old victim twisted in his vehicle, trapped, and without a pulse. Fire Department personnel revived him and paramedics transported him to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, but having sustained multiple spinal fractures, arm and facial fractures, head trauma and vascular tear in his neck, he remains in critical condition.

On April 1, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged the 43-year-old Bowser of Auburn with vehicular assault, reckless driving and – as a convicted felon – with first-degree illegal possession of a firearm

In court, Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Amy Freedheim cited Bowser’s record to show’s he’s been a menace on the road for years. His criminal history includes the following: a DUI on March 13, 2011; a charge of first degree negligence and a DUI on Feb. 20, 2009; and dangerous driving and reckless driving on July 20, 2019. He is a convicted felon for second-degree assault and illegal firearms possession.

“The defendant does not follow court orders, does not follow the rules of the road, and either cannot or will not refrain from becoming impaired and driving,” Freedheim told the court. “He still carries a loaded firearm, despite being convicted of unlawfully possessing a firearm, and a court again advising him that he is prohibited from possessing one.”

At Bowser’s first court appearance, Freedheim asked that he be held on $100,000 bail. The first appearance judge released Bowser on his own recognizance over the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office objections.

Bowser’s next court date is his arraignment at 9 a.m. April 14 in the GA courtroom of the Regional Justice Center in Kent

Here is a summary of events, according to Kent Police and court records.

Witnesses told police they believed Bowser, driving a Chrysler 300, was racing a BMW at the time of the collision.

Police found Bowser and his front-seat passenger, his cousin, standing and sitting on a guardrail, Bowser drinking from a plastic water bottle and both men complaining of chest pain. According to police, Bowser admitted he ‘d been the driver.

Witnesses told police they’d seen the men tossing items from their car over a guardrail after the crash. According to court records, police found a Kirkland Signature bottle of vodka behind the men, and responding officers noted signs of alcohol impairment on Bowser. Although Bowser allegedly admitted to consuming alcohol, he refused any tests for impairment. A search warrant to extract and test his blood was approved, and that testing is pending with the Washington State Toxicology Laboratory.

According to court records, when the arresting officer found and removed a 9mm pistol from Bowser’s pocket incident to his arrest, Bowser said, “Oh, sh..!”

Bowser’s other criminal and traffic history includes a charge of committing a lewd act on May 3, 2003, theft on June 3, 2000, assault domestic violence on Feb. 21, 1999, obstructing a law enforcement officer on June 18 and Oct. 5, 1996, refused to cooperate police and driving with a suspended license on March 30, 1996 and giving false information to police and driving without a license on Jan. 26, 1995.

In July 2019, Bowers was arrested for racing two other vehicles on I-5 and speeding at 129 mph, He pleaded guilty to reckless driving and completed a Level 2 aggressive driving program in 2020 in King District Court. On April 8, 2005, Bowser was notified during his sentencing for second-degree assault and and unlawful possession of a firearm that he still could not possess a firearm in King County.

According to Freedheim, as of March 30, the injured man was still comatose, and may be a quadriplegic if he lives. Authorities have notified have brother that his prognosis for retaining any activities of daily living is bleak, including his ability to independently care for himself, including eating, bathing and mobility.

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