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News / Clark County News

Woman accused of crashing into house, killing Vancouver woman, 37, appears in court

She faces allegations of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff reporter
Published: August 24, 2023, 3:17pm

A judge set bail Thursday at $250,000 for a woman accused of driving drunk and crashing into a west Vancouver house, killing a woman inside.

Karen Baker, 52, appeared in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence. Court records do not list her city of residence. She is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 6.

Deputy Prosecutor Scott Ikata said Baker has no known criminal history. She appeared via Zoom from the Clark County Jail in a wheelchair.

Vancouver police responded at 6:38 p.m. Aug. 3 to a crash at West Fourth Plain Boulevard and Fruit Valley Road.

An officer on scene reported a Hyundai Sonata crashed into a house, and a person was trapped under the car. Police observed a fence around the house was broken in multiple places, and the vehicle had driven through the glass door of the house, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Paramedics pronounced the woman who had been struck, identified as Danielle A. Abrahams, 37, dead at the scene, court records state.

Officers said an emotional Baker was out of the car when they arrived. They later said Baker was yelling at paramedics as they tried to help her, according to the affidavit.

A witness told officers they saw the Hyundai speeding before hitting a curb and then crashing into the house. Video from the house also captured the crash. The witness’s description of the driver matched Baker’s appearance, investigators said. A neighbor who was outside at the time also identified Baker as the driver of the Hyundai, according to court records.

Officers said Baker’s mood was erratic, and she showed signs of impairment. Baker told them she had just left a bar where she was drinking. At one point, an officer said Baker yelled at them, “I’m (expletive) drunk,” the affidavit states.

Baker was placed on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance. She was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, where staff said she suffered a broken back. A sample of her blood was sent to the state crime lab for toxicology testing, according to court records.

On Wednesday, Baker’s family contacted police to tell them she had been released from the hospital and would turn herself in. Officers met Baker at the jail, where she was booked, the affidavit states.

Abrahams’ family created a GoFundMe to raise money for legal costs and to help Abrahams’ husband and brother, who were displaced by the crash. The fundraiser can be found at gofund.me/a9612dea.

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