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Shane L. Ormiston, 18, and Gabriel Anderson, 15, killed, and Kole A. Randall, 17, and Michael A. Brewster, 17, injured while walking on sidewalk with P.E. class on Graveline and West Smith roads in Ferndale, Washington
An SUV hit the teens who were either walking on the road or on the sidewalk on Graveline and West Smith roads, according to the Whatcom Sheriff.
Smith was shut down between Belfern Drive and Northwest Avenue and is expected to remain closed for several hours for the investigation. Motorists should avoid the area. Graduation ceremonies for the school were Tuesday night, but classes were scheduled to continue through Friday.
Driver William Klein was arrested after the Wednesday afternoon crash in Ferndale for investigation of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. Bail was set at $200,000 at an initial court hearing Thursday.
A drug recognition expert with the Washington State Patrol responded to the scene a short time later and found Klein curled up in the passenger seat.
Prosecutors have charged a Bellingham, Washington, man with two counts of vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault in a crash that killed two high school students and injured two others out walking during a gym class.
Trooper Rudy reported he found Klein asleep, and that he needed to be shaken awake. On the witness stand, Rudy testified he knocked on the Toyota’s window but got no response. So he shook Klein, and he got up looking “groggy.” He testified he believed Klein was sleeping.
Brodsky argues Klein was distraught — not sleeping, but crying and holding his young son.
The defense says Klein’s obstructive sleep apnea sometimes made him wake up as often as 30 times per hour. Without treatment for that illness, he was prone to fall into a deep sleep without warning, said his defense attorney Michael Brodsky.
On the witness stand Tuesday he spoke in a calm voice, at times needing a deep breath, as he retraced his steps on the afternoon of the crash and the days leading up to it.
A jury returned a verdict of not guilty Wednesday afternoon, May 4, for a Bellingham man who fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a group of high school boys.
A group of students from Windward High School were out walking as part of a physical education exercise Wednesday afternoon when an SUV left the road and struck them from behind. An 18-year-old and a 15-year-old died at the scene. Two other 17-year-old males were taken to an area hospital in critical condition. The 34-year-old driver was returning from work and fell asleep at the wheel.