Woman facing vehicular homicide charges for New Year’s crash

Woman facing vehicular homicide charges for New Year’s crash

A woman from Mead woke up in the Spokane County Jail this morning knowing on the first day of 2017 she plowed into a bicycle, killing the rider.

It happened early Sunday morning along Highway 2 where the state route crosses Flint Road near Airway Heights.

Washington State Patrol (WSP) troopers say Melissa Anne Paul was driving at Toyota 4Runner westbound at about 4 a.m. when she drove up behind Ty Olds, who was riding a bicycle. Paul apparently didn’t see Olds, and ran into him at the intersection.

Everyone who was in the 4Runner, including the driver, was found to be in possession of illegal drugs.

The victim’s crumpled bicycle sits next to the car that collided with it in the WSP impound lot. Based on the damage to the vehicle, it looks like Olds was tossed over the hood of the SUV and struck the windshield.

To Paul’s credit, she did not leave the scene, but troopers found her to be under the influence and subsequent to her arrest, found her in possession of illegal drugs.

Her passenger, Stephan Alexander, charged with intent to deliver illegal drugs.

It’s still not clear what Olds was doing riding his bike down Highway 2 in the middle of the night, in the middle of a snow storm. Olds was previously arrested for car prowling and possession of a controlled substance.

For Paul’s alleged role in this crash she faces a vehicular homicide charge.

Because of the holidays, Paul will spend an extra day in jail before her first court appearance on Tuesday.

Troopers say they made 19 DUI arrests over the New Year’s weekend. That’s about average.

WSP is glad to tell you that fatal crashes in Spokane dropped by 14 percent in 2016.