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Driver charged in Federal Way crash that injured teen; alcohol involved

An Auburn man has been charged with vehicular assault and felony hit and run following a crash in Federal Way that left a teen driver with severe brain injuries.

According to charging papers, 21-year-old Yevgeny Gil was involved in an accident around 9:15 p.m. July 1 at the intersection of S. 272nd Street and Pacific Highway South.

At the scene, Gil's black Lincoln Navigator was flipped over on the driver's side door, facing southbound in the northbound lanes of Pacific Highway South.

Two witnesses to the accident stated they saw Gil's vehicle traveling northbound at a high rate of speed. The other three vehicles involved in the crash — a black Saab, a white Nissan and a minivan — were stopped waiting for the traffic light to change. Gil's vehicle crashed into the back of the Saab, which caused the car to crash into the back of the Nissan, which caused it to crash into the back of the minivan, according to charging papers. The force caused Gil's SUV to flip.

The driver of the Saab, 17-year-old Jontira Elmore, and her passenger were transported to Highline Medical Center. Elmore was then taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with traumatic brain injuries. She has left frontal intraparenchymal hemorrhage and is slowly recovering.

One of the witnesses attempted to assist Gil out of his vehicle, at which point Gil took off running, according to charging papers. Both witnesses stated they could smell an overwhelming odor of alcohol coming from Gil, according to charging papers.

Officers were dispatched to the area after a call about an SUV that had rolled over in the accident. Federal Way K-9 Officer Matt Novak was scanning his radio and heard the Kent Police Department receive the same call, but one of the individuals involved in the accident had left the scene and started running away, reports said.

After police located Gil, he was taken to St. Francis Hospital for his injuries. The officer escorting him there stated he could smell a strong odor of alcohol from Gil's breath. Gil told the officer he had drank "Two beers and a shot of Hennessy" at a Milton area bar, according to charging papers, but chose not to drive as he "knew he was over the limit." When asked how the accident occurred, Gil stated: "All I know is that I woke up in the intersection at 272nd and climbed out of my truck. I saw the front end and knew there had been an accident...I saw all these people and lots of commotion. My head and mouth hurt so I just knew I needed to run, but the people started chasing me."

Gil claimed a friend was driving his vehicle and that he ran because a man with a gun was robbing him, according to charging papers. Gil reportedly ran to a apartment complex near 272nd Street, then ran over behind Mark Twain Elementary School.

Gil is being held on $300,000 bail and remains in jail at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. The results from Gil's blood draw for DUI are still pending.

Gil has had prior DUI arrests. He is currently awaiting sentencing for reckless driving, amended from a DUI on March 23, 2010, and has a DUI from March 16, 2007.

He also has a reckless driving arrest from 2005, two ignition interlock device (IID) violations from 2008, driving with a suspended license in 2009, and a hit and run violation from 2005, according to charging papers.

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