Ship Canal Bridge Crash: Prosecutors File Vehicular Homicide Charge

SEATTLE — King County prosecutors on Thursday filed two felony charges against the man accused of hitting and killing a stranded driver Tuesday morning on Seattle’s Ship Canal Bridge. The victim, Jordan Shelley, 23, died after falling more than 150 feet from the bridge and landing in the water below.

Prosecutors said Justin Kuo, 22, admitted to drinking alcohol in Lynnwood the evening before the crash and speeding up to 80 mph while heading south on Interstate 5. In court filings, prosecutors allege Kuo slammed into Shelley’s car hard enough to flip both vehicles and launched the victim over the bridge early Tuesday morning.

The charging document reads in part:

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“Jordan M. Shelley had been on his way to work as an ambulance driver when his car became disabled. He was able to pull onto the right shoulder with just a little bit of his car in the travel lane at the northern end of the Ship Canal Bridge on I-5 southbound. He turned on his hazard lights, left his headlights on, and appears to have opened a flare (the paper to it was found in his pocket). He called his girlfriend to come pick him up. Several witnesses drove by without incident and saw him on the phone, standing in the shoulder, in front of his car. One driver heard the collision behind him just after noting Mr. Shelley on the shoulder.

Just before 4:30AM, the defendant slammed into the rear of Mr. Shelly’s vehicle with such violence that both cars flipped upside-down. Mr. Shelly was hit and launched over the jersey barrier into Lake Union over 150′ below. His body was found several hours later by law enforcement marine divers. He had suffered an enormous catastrophic nearly foot long deep gash on his abdomen. This matched with the organic material found at the top of the barrier. Mr. Shelly was killed in the crash.”

Kuo appeared in court for an initial hearing Wednesday where a judge set bail at $100,000 and barred him from consuming alcohol. Prosecutors filed two felony charges Thursday alleging vehicular homicide and reckless driving. Kuo’s next court date is scheduled for June 9 in Seattle.

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Source: Bellevue Patch