Local News

Man charged with vehicular homicide in fatal DUI crash

Man charged with vehicular homicide...

SPOKANE, Wash. - One man is dead, another charged with vehicular homicide after police say he was driving under the influence and causing a deadly late night crash in Spokane Valley.

Just before midnight Monday, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office got a call for what they thought was a car crash with injuries. When they arrived, they saw it was far worse.

"The driver of the second vehicle had been severely injured and was pronounced deceased at the scene," said Deputy Mark Gregory.

The man who was killed was driving his car northbound on University Road when he was hit from behind by a truck driving fast. His passenger survives.

“When deputies arrived, they started checking on the passengers that were in the vehicles. At that point, the driver that was the cause of the collision, fled the scene,” explained Gregory.

Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Sargent Craig Pannell added, “we set up a perimeter and a K-9 was able to track him and we caught the suspect.”

Virgil James Seymour Jr. didn't put up a fight but refused to take a breathalyzer.

Investigators believe he was under the influence and ordered a sample of his blood. He was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide. 

A passenger in his car had minor injuries but was not arrested.

Before his appearance in front of a District Court judge, Seymour told a deputy his concern was for his children.

“You don’t know my situation," Seymour said. "I am getting a divorce from my wife. We have been together for twenty years and for me it’s about what is going to happen to my kids but what ever.”

As we head in to the holiday season, Deputy Mark Gregory hopes this tragedy makes people think twice before driving impaired.

"Plenty of people will be out, being festive and having a good time with family and friends," said Deputy Gregory. "Please don't drink and drive. Don't drive impaired. You're not only going to ruin the season for your friends and family, but in this case, it took the life of somebody else and now that family and his friends are suffering.”

Seymour did have one prior DUI in 2012. It was knocked down to a reckless driving charge.

The name of the driver who was killed in the crash has not been released, that information will come from the medical examiner in the coming days.