Driver in triple fatality on Highway 20 pleads not guilty

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJune 19, 2014 

Alfredo Navarro III

Alfredo Navarro III

WASHINGTON STATE PATROL — COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

MOUNT VERNON - A 19-year-old accused of drunken driving in a crash that killed three people, including Megan L. Brown, 21, of Bellingham, pleaded not guilty Thursday to vehicular homicide charges.

Alfredo Navarro Jr. III, 19, appeared in Skagit County Superior Court in a neck brace and wheelchair from his injuries in the May 23 crash on Highway 20 near Sedro-Woolley. Bail was set at $1 million while he waits for the next hearing in the case.

Navarro was arrested June 14 on suspicion of three counts of vehicular homicide and one count of vehicular assault under the influence.

According to a state patrol report, Navarro's eastbound Audi A4 crossed the center line around 5:10 a.m. May 23, on Highway 20 near Minkler Road, just east of Sedro-Woolley. Troopers suspect the car had been speeding when it slammed into a Ford Fusion driven by Frederick A. Brand, 65, of Concrete, according to troopers. Brand died that morning.

The Audi flipped into a ditch on the north side of the highway. Two passengers inside — Brown and Nicole A. Washington, 23, of Sedro-Woolley — died at the scene. Another man, Quinnton A. Baxter, 22, was critically injured in the crash.

Beer cans were found in the Audi, Trooper Mark Francis said. Navarro's blood was drawn after the crash, but test results have not been given to state patrol yet.

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