BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — A Washington man arrested in a traffic crash that killed two high school students and injured two others out walking during gym class was not impaired by drugs at the time, his lawyer said Thursday.
William Klein, 34, of Bellingham, was arrested after the Wednesday afternoon crash in Ferndale for investigation of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. Bail was set at $200,000 at an initial court hearing Thursday.
Noting marijuana is legal in Washington, defense lawyer Michael Brodsky said his client acknowledged past marijuana use but said Klein had not used pot on the day of the crash.
Whatcom County Prosecutor Dave McEachran said blood and urine test results won't be available for a couple of weeks.
McEachran told the court the driver had told a state trooper at the crash scene that he was sleepy and had acknowledged regular marijuana use as well as past use of hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Klein is next due in court June 19.
About 30 students from Windward High School in Ferndale, about 13 miles south of the Canadian border, were walking with a teacher when the SUV driven by Klein jumped a curb and struck four teens on a sidewalk, State Patrol Trooper Mark Francis said. Klein had his 3-year-old son with him. Neither was injured.
Shane Ormiston, 18, and Gabriel Anderson, 15, both of Ferndale, died at the scene.
Michael Brewster of Custer and Kole Randall of Ferndale, both 17, were injured. They suffered severe leg fractures, the Bellingham Herald newspaper reported.
Brewster was reported in satisfactory condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle while Randall was in serious condition at St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, the hospitals said.
At last 100 people, including students, parents and teachers, gathered Wednesday night to remember the teens who were killed.