Officer Involved in Hit-and-Run Accident
(WA) – 33-year old Michael L. Smith was arrested Saturday night after committing a series of criminal acts that ended in a man’s death.
It started when Smith, who is a police officer with the Auburn Police Department, crashed into taxi cab. “According to court documents from King County, Smith first hit a cab on Alaskan Way, then tried to pull the driver out of the vehicle and fight him.”
Mr. Smith was unable to get the cab driver out of the car. He returned to his vehicle and sped off. At least one witness has claimed that Michael Smith was going as much as 90 miles an hour. Only minutes later, Smith lost control of his vehicle when he attempted to pass another car.
DUI an Element in Fatal Accident
“…on 15th Ave. West, police said Smith lost control of the car and jumped over a steep berm, hitting the man who was walking on the sidewalk. The driver then crashed into some nearby mailboxes.
The force of the impact knocked the victim over the berm and he landed several feet away on Gilman Street.
Smith did not attempt to leave this time. Police officers with the Seattle Police Department arrived and processed the scene. The probable cause statement says Smith “smelled of alcohol, slurred his speech and had bloodshot, watery eyes.” And that he “admitted he had consumed alcohol.”
Officer Michael Smith, who was not on duty at the time, hit and killed 65-year old Clifford Jones. According to the Medical Examiner’s Office, Mr. Jones “died from multiple blunt force injuries.” Mr. Jones was pronounced dead at the scene by Seattle Fire Department medics.
Police Officer Booked Into King County Jail
Smith was charged with Vehicular Homicide, DUI, and Hit-and-Run. The judge set his bond at $200,000. Michael Smith posted bond and was released from jail. The Auburn Police Department has placed Smith on administrative leave and is conducting an internal affairs investigation.