A Vancouver man who was involved in a fatal crash Wednesday evening in central Vancouver is accused of driving with a blood-alcohol level nearly double the legal limit.
Richard Ramirez, 38, appeared Thursday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence of intoxicants. His bail was set at $500,000, and he is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 11. If he posts bail, Judge Emily Sheldrick ordered he be subject to random urine tests, an ignition interlock device on his vehicle and an alcohol ankle monitor.
Vancouver police responded at 6:19 p.m. to the intersection of South Andresen Road and MacArthur Boulevard for a T-bone crash. Callers reported the driver and sole occupant of a Toyota Prius was unconscious and trapped inside the car, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The driver of the Prius, identified as David Reyes, was pulled from the car and first responders began CPR, court records state, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office has not yet released further information about Reyes.
Several of Reyes’ family members spoke virtually during Ramirez’s hearing, including Reyes’ sister, Stephanie Reyes Alcala. She said she spoke to her brother earlier in the day before the crash and that he was widely loved by his family and community.
“I don’t know if you’re a father,” Reyes Alcala said to Ramirez on Zoom. “But you left two kids under 18 without a father.”
Witnesses told police the Prius was traveling north on Andresen Road after stopping at the four-way stop with flashing red signals at the intersection. Witnesses then saw a Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Ramirez, traveling west on MacArthur Boulevard. The affidavit states the truck’s speedometer showed 60 mph, and the speed limit in that area is 35 mph.
Ramirez failed to stop at the intersection and crashed into the passenger’s side of the Prius, according to court records.
“The force of the collision was so great that the Prius was launched across the intersection and both vehicles came to rest on the northwest corner,” the affidavit states. “The entire passenger side of the vehicle was destroyed. Both vehicles caught fire after the collision.”
Officers noted that Ramirez had bloodshot eyes, the odor of alcohol on his breath and slurred speech, according to court records. He allegedly admitted to police to drinking White Claw hard seltzers before driving, according to court records.
Ramirez said he had been working construction in Clackamas, Ore., and was drinking while at work. He was on his way home when he crashed. He said he was talking to his brother, who was also in the truck, and didn’t know how the crash happened, the affidavit states.
A preliminary breath test showed Ramirez had a blood-alcohol content of 0.158, according to the affidavit. In Washington, a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 is considered evidence of drunken driving. His blood was sent to the state crime lab for toxicology results.
Ramirez was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center to be evaluated for injuries. Court records show he suffered a cracked sternum.
His criminal history showed he had two outstanding warrants for failing to appear in court for charges of DUI, from 2020, and hit-and-run, the affidavit states.
He was previously convicted of DUI in 2008 and DUI and first-degree negligent driving in 2010 in Grant County, Ore.