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Luxury Porsche driver charged with vehicular assault in ICW crash
The King County Prosecutors office has filed one count of vehicular assault against Peter. E. Kern, a Bellevue resident, who crashed his car into a dental office on Mercer Island after allegedly speeding eastbound on the I-90 express lanes on Nov. 8, last year. Kern's passenger was injured in the crash.
Charging documents confirm the car reached a speed of 150 mph.
Kern, 47, was arrested following a high-speed pursuit by a Washington State Patrol trooper.
The King County Prosecutors office said that Kern had been drinking prior to the crash. The charging papers revealed that Kern "showed signs of alcohol impairment." A test at the scene showed the driver to have a blood alcohol level of .077. A blood draw done four hours after the crash showed his blood alcohol was .055.
Trooper Chris Webb, Public Information Officer for the Washington State Patrol told the Reporter in November that a WSP trooper on I-90 clocked Kern traveling eastbound in the express lanes at 150 mph in a 2013 Porsche Panamera. The trooper, driving a fully marked State Patrol vehicle began pursuit around 11:30 p.m. with his lights and sirens fully engaged, the court papers said.
The officer observed Kern exiting onto Island Crest Way. At the S.E. 30th Street intersection, the Porsche struck a street sign and became airborne before hitting the Mercer Park Dentistry building owned by Islander, Clyde Curfew. Damage to the building was estimated at $10,000.
The vehicle was smoldering when the trooper pulled up. After getting the passenger and driver away from the vehicle, the trooper got out a fire extinguisher from his own car. But the Porsche caught fire
Calls had already gone to out for regional fire and emergency assistance. Yet according to Mercer Island Deputy Fire Chief, Steve Heitman, both Station 91 on the North-End of the Island and Station 92 on the South-End, were out responding to calls about flooding. Battalion Chief Kenworthy, was on duty at Station 91 nearby and drove the department command vehicle to the crash and took out a fire extinguisher to help the trooper put out the flames. Soon after both Bellevue and Mercer Island firetrucks arrived.
Kern and his female passenger, a 36-year-old Issaquah woman were later taken to Overlake Medical Center. Kern was observed to have a leg injury. His 36-year-old passenger was admitted to the hospital with a broken collarbone and a back fracture. She remained in the hospital for at least four days. According to the probable cause statements, the evening was the couple's first date. Later that night, Kern was transported and booked into the King County Jail.
The Bellevue man is the confirmed owner of the luxury car which Webb said are marketed at $75,000 to $175,000. Kern was scheduled for arraignment last Monday. Bail was requested for $25,000.
The defendant has no known criminal history. He had been cited for speeding three months earlier. He may face additional charges.
“The current charge is vehicular assault, but our review of the case continues,” said Dan Donohoe of the King County Prosector's Office.