Mercer Island man charged in collision that killed Issaquah man

Alexander Chung, 20, faces vehicular homicide and reckless driving charges.

A Mercer Island man claims he had one Mike’s Hard Lemonade before driving the wrong way on Interstate 90, subsequently killing an Issaquah man in a crash, according to court documents.

King County prosecutors charged Alexander S. Chung, 20, on March 15 with vehicular homicide and reckless driving after he was arrested on March 11, the morning of the accident, which led to the death of 25-year-old Mohamed Al-Hethail.

Chung was released from jail on $100,000 bond March 13.

According to charging documents, Chung was driving a white Subaru Crosstrek at about 3 a.m., traveling westbound in eastbound lanes on I-90 where Interstate 5, southbound, intersects in Seattle. At the same time, Al-Hethail was driving onto the I-90 ramp going eastbound from I-5 southbound in his 1995 Honda Accord.

The two collided head-on just before Chung allegedly hit the side of a concrete jersey barrier prior to impact.

A woman who was a passenger in a Lyft was also heading onto I-90 from I-5 south and she called 911 to report the suspect’s vehicle was going the wrong way on the freeway. Just after, she heard a loud crash from behind.

Within minutes of the collision a Washington State Patrol trooper was on scene and saw Chung’s Subaru hanging over the edge of a barrier. There was about a 50-foot drop below and people stopped on the side of the freeway were lifting Chung out of the vehicle.

The trooper then went to contact Al-Hethail but he was slumped over in his Honda and did not have a pulse. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

As medic personnel attended to Chung, the trooper spoke to him and noticed slurred speech and “odor of intoxicant” on Chung’s breath. Chung agreed to a sobriety test involving his eyes, but the trooper said in charging documents that he had failed to track correctly, indicating he had “nystagmus,”a vision condition in which the eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements and can be induced by drinking.

Chung was arrested at Harborview Medical Center at approximately 4 a.m. that morning. Although he was advised of his rights, he told troopers he attended Seattle University and had consumed a Mike’s Hard Lemonade while he played video games with his friends two hours before the accident. He had intended to drive home to his parents’ home on Mercer Island.

“When asked to describe the collision, Chung stated he was driving and that he saw the other vehicle stop,” charging documents state. “Chung stated he could not stop.”

Troopers received a warrant to draw Chung’s blood for evidence, which was sent to the Seattle Washington State Patrol Toxicology Laboratory for testing.

[flipp]

More in News

City continues climate commitment

Mercer Island council adopts K4C update.

Natalie DeFord / staff photo
                                People walk past the Mercer Island Park-and-Ride on a cloudy morning Dec. 2.
New reserved parking permits for Park-and-Ride

Sound Transit’s online monthly pass secures a spot during busy commute times.

Fire along Twisp River Road in the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest in 2018. Courtesy photo
Wildfire response: State unveils funding legislation proposal

Last year, Department of Natural Resources responded to record number of wildfires.

A new report, complete with recommendations to the Legislature, has been released by a statewide task force that was formed to address a lack of child care in Washington. File photo
Report outlines lack of child care in Washington

In King County, supply doesn’t meet demand for child care.

Demonstrators from La Resistencia protest Amazon’s involvement with ICE. Photo courtesy of La Resistencia
How will the U.S. respond to climate refugees?

Business as usual has been harder borders, are there other ways to address climate migration?

Eastside election recounts

Bothell, Redmond, and Mercer Island council races going to recount.

Steel Magic Northwest will host concert Dec. 8 at the Congregational Church. Photo courtesy of Gary Gibson
Steel music concert to play holiday favorites on the Island

Steel Magic Northwest to perform holiday music Dec. 8.

This graph shows state trends on hate crimes reported to the FBI. Note: For certain years crimes against people based on their race or ethnicity were combined.
FBI: No hate crimes on Mercer Island in 2018

State hate crime trend has minor decline; crimes toward LGBTQ rise.

Most Read