Crime

Driver in Mt. Baker Highway crash booked on vehicular homicide

eabell@bhamherald.com

The driver Washington State Patrol said caused a fatal crash Thursday, Jan. 28, while trying to pass a semi truck has been booked into jail on suspicion of vehicular homicide.

Connor Mackenzie Bloom, 22, was originally treated at St. Joseph hospital for his injuries, then taken to Whatcom County Jail, where he remained Friday.

Early Friday, Washington State Patrol publicly identified the driver who was killed as Ronald S. Baker, 44, of Maple Falls.

Bloom was driving a black ’98 BMW 318 on Mount Baker Highway when he tried to pass a westbound semi hauling a loaded flatbed around 4 p.m. near Mission Road, east of Everson Goshen Road, according to state patrol.

As Bloom pulled into the eastbound lane, he saw an oncoming 2000 Saturn SL-1, and both drivers slammed on their brakes, said the driver of the semi, Gurcharan Singh Grewal, 42.

The BMW spun back toward the westbound lane. The car hit the side of the semi, ricocheted off, and crashed head-on into the oncoming Saturn, said WSP Sgt. Shane Rogers.

Baker, who was wearing a seat belt, died at the scene. Grewal, of Richmond, B.C., was not injured. He and Bloom also wore seat belts, according to state patrol.

That section of Mount Baker Highway was closed for five hours for the investigation and to clean up the crash scene. Both cars were totaled.

State Patrol said the crash was caused by unsafe passing.

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