Vancouver DUI Crash Kills One, Injures Three

A La Center man who is accused of driving drunk and causing a head-on collision on state Highway 503 that killed a 16-year-old girl appeared in court recently. David R. Zarb, 46, faces one count of vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault in the Monday afternoon crash near Fargher Lake. Sixteen-year-old Ivy A. Hunt, of Napavine, a passenger in the other vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other occupants Harumi R. Yato and Emi L. Yato, both 15, of Yacolt, were critically injured and taken to a hospital, and Danlette Yato, 66, of Yacolt, was also transported.

According to published reports about this car accident, say Zarb drove his northbound Ford F-150 pickup across the center line of the highway and struck a southbound Mazda 3 at Gabriel Road. The crash occurred around 1:30 p.m. He was obviously driving drunk, according to reports. Zarb allegedly admitted to first responders on scene that he had three drinks and then met up with a friend in Battle Ground and consumed two more drinks. An open container was also found in his pickup, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

When firefighters asked him what time it was, Zarb reportedly thought it was 6 or 7 p.m., an arrest affidavit is reported to state. “While AMR units were assisting him, he was clearly being sarcastic and uncooperative when asking for his name. I could even hear Zarb laughing while in the back of the ambulance,” a trooper wrote in the affidavit.

Troopers said they could smell the odor of alcohol coming from Zarb, as well as his pickup, and his eyes were bloodshot and watery, court records state.

Serving obviously intoxicated patrons can have consequences. Most states have what are known as “dram shop” laws to prevent licensed bars and restaurants from serving drunk people who, inevitably, get on the road and cause an accident. Washington law also allows an injured party to sue an alcohol vendor in cases where a vendor served an adult patron who was obviously intoxicated and later caused an accident. Under Washington state law (RCW 66.44.200), it is provided that “no person shall sell any liquor to any person apparently under the influence of liquor,” and furthermore that “no person who is apparently under the influence of liquor may purchase or consume liquor on any premises licensed by the board.” The Washington Supreme Court has also held that a dram shop claim could be brought against an alcohol vendor that sold alcohol to an adult patron who was “apparently under the influence” or “obviously intoxicated” at the time.

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