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News / Clark County News

Woodland man in court after alleged DUI crash that killed good Samaritan on Interstate 5

Guadalupe V. Munoz accused of driving with blood-alcohol level nearly three times legal limit

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff reporter
Published: May 28, 2024, 5:50pm

A Woodland man is accused of driving with a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit Friday when he crashed into a firetruck and two people, killing one and injuring the other, on Interstate 5 near La Center.

Guadalupe V. Munoz, 44, appeared Tuesday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and driving under the influence.

The prosecution said Munoz has a 2004 DUI conviction and 2020 DUI charge that was later reduced to negligent driving.

Judge Suzan Clark set his bail at $1 million. He’s scheduled to be arraigned June 10. If he posts bail, Clark ordered him to wear an alcohol monitor and have an ignition interlock device on any car he drives.

Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue responded to a crash at about 10 p.m. on I-5 north near Milepost 17. About half an hour later, crews were finishing up providing aid to the driver in that crash when a 1991 Nissan pickup, which investigators determined was driven by Munoz, failed to yield to a firetruck stopped on the freeway. The pickup crashed into the firetruck, and then veered into two pedestrians walking on the right shoulder before coming to a stop, according to a Washington State Patrol crash memo.

The pedestrians were good Samaritans who stopped to help the driver in the initial crash. The fire agency said Munoz’s truck narrowly missed striking the firefighters.

The pickup hit Jessica M. Blinebry, 42, of Vader, who died at the scene, and 39-year-old Casey J. Blinebry, according to the State Patrol. Casey Blinebry, also of Vader, was injured and taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver. Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue said he suffered critical injuries.

Munoz told State Patrol troopers he didn’t know what happened, and troopers noted the odor of alcohol coming from Munoz. They said his eyes were bloodshot, and his speech was slurred, the affidavit states.

Munoz denied drinking any alcohol that night, and he participated in sobriety tests at the scene. Troopers said he failed the sobriety tests, court records state.

A preliminary breath test showed Munoz had a blood-alcohol content of 0.22, according to court records. In Washington, a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 is considered evidence of drunken driving.

Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue reminds drivers to slow down and leave room when approaching any stopped emergency vehicle. The agency said damage to the firetruck was limited to the front bumper.