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News / Northwest

Suspect in crash that killed WA trooper may have been under influence, police say

By The Seattle Times
Published: March 5, 2024, 12:59pm

A Lynnwood man accused of crashing into a Washington State Patrol car and killing the trooper inside on Saturday may have been driving under the influence, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.

Talking to a Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy and a Lynnwood police sergeant from a hospital bed at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, the suspect, 32, said he smoked a bowl of marijuana and drank two Coors Lights, according to the arrest report. When he briefly opened his eyes, they were bloodshot, the deputy wrote.

A preliminary breath test came back with 0.047 blood alcohol content, under the legal limit. The deputy noted the reading was taken 3 1/2 hours after the crash.

A judge approved a search warrant to test a sample of his blood.

A witness in a semitruck said he saw the trooper’s patrol car parked on the shoulder of southbound I-5 near Marysville shortly before 3 a.m., apparently watching traffic. An SUV swerved and slammed into the back of the patrol car, the witness reported. Dashcam footage from the semitruck corroborated the statement, according to court papers.

The suspect’s vehicle bounced off the patrol car, then was hit by a van carrying six people, the sheriff’s deputy wrote. The van driver reportedly suffered a broken wrist. The other passengers were not hurt, according to State Patrol.

Trooper Christopher Gadd, 27, was still in the driver’s seat of the totaled patrol car when sheriff’s deputies arrived, according to court papers. They quickly confirmed he had died.

After being taken to the hospital, the suspect was booked into the Snohomish County Jail, where he remained Monday. A judge set bail at $1 million.

Gadd was with the State Patrol for 2 1/2 years and worked out of Marysville.

Born in Pasco, he graduated from Kentlake High School before receiving an emergency medical technician certification, the State Patrol said in a news release. During his time in the trooper academy, Gadd received the Top Academic Award, given to the cadet with the highest grade-point average after 30 exams.

Gadd is survived by his wife Cammryn and daughter Kaelyn, the release said, as well as his father David, a former state trooper, his mother Gillian, and his sister Jacqueline, a state trooper in Texas.

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