News

Driver charged in hitting family

By ERICA JAHN

Staff writer

A SeaTac man arrested on suspicion of driving into a Des Moines family on the sidewalk along Marine View Drive South on Aug. 21 admitted to police he had been drinking and took Valium prior to getting behind the wheel.

In charging papers filed Monday, King County Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng charged William T. Robinson, 37, with three counts of vehicular assault. HeŽ’s being held at the Regional Justice Center in Kent in lieu of $1 million bail.

Meanwhile, Zachary Moss, 12, remained in critical condition with head injuries at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. If he dies, Maleng will amend the charges against Robinson to include one count of vehicular homicide.

ZacharyŽ’s mother, Kristina Moss, and his sister, Oliva Moss, 8, are in satisfactory and serious condition, respectively, at Harborview. Oliva also has a head injury and Kristina has leg and shoulder fractures and a possible head injury, according to charging papers.

Robinson was driving a Toyota Corolla northbound on Marine View Drive South on Aug. 21 about 4 p.m. when he veered off the road and jumped the car up onto the sidewalk, police said.

The car struck a mail box and passed one pedestrian, MossŽ’ youngest daughter, and then struck Kristina, Oliva and Zachary, police said. The family was walking and riding bicycles home from eating in Des Moines, police said.

Witnesses who saw the collision said Zachary was thrown about 8 feet into the air, landed on a rock wall and then fell to the sidewalk. Oliva was thrown to the side of the vehicle and Kristina was thrown into the air and landed on the rock wall.

Witnesses wrapped ZacharyŽ’s head to try to stem the heavy bleeding from injuries he suffered in the collision. When police arrived, Kristina was dazed, sitting on the wall near her children.

According to witness statements to police, Robinson failed to stop after striking the family. He drove off the sidewalk back into the road and continued to the Yardarm Pub, where a witness who followed him from the scene of the collision contacted him in the parking lot and drove him back to Marine View Drive South.

Police conducted sobriety tests after noticing that Robinson appeared to be intoxicated, according to charging papers. Robinson was unable to successfully complete the tests, police said, and he couldnŽ’t keep his balance and kept stepping off to the side and moving his hands out to keep himself from falling.

Robinson initially told police he had looked down to adjust the radio, drifted off the road and hit people, but said he didnŽ’t know how his vehicle ended up at the tavern. Later, he said he thought heŽ’d only struck the curb and didnŽ’t realize heŽ’d hit people, according to charging papers.

About 8 p.m. on Aug. 21, Robinson told Des Moines Police detective George Jacobowitz he had drunk two beers at a friendŽ’s house within two hours of the collision and he had taken a 5 mg Valium tablet an hour before the collision, authorities said.

Blood drawn from Robinson at the scene has been sent to the state toxicology lab for analysis.

Robinson is scheduled to be arraigned in King County Superior Court on the vehicular assault charges on Sept. 4.

He previously was booked into the King County Jail on June 5, 2002 on a charge of fourth-degree domestic violence assault. A pre-trial hearing in that case is scheduled for Sept. 9. Robinson also has a 1986 burglary and larceny conviction from Mississippi.

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