Driver pleads not guilty in fatal crash that killed two

Local Makyela Knaus, 13, was one of the victims.

The woman behind the wheel of a terrible car crash just outside Enumclaw, which took two lives and seriously hurt two others, is pleading not guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault each.

Crystal Marie Mullin, 22, was driving west on state Route 164 on Dec. 4, 2018, with three passengers — Jacob Brown, 21, Charles Saylor, 18, and Makyela Knaus, 13 — when the car crossed over into the eastbound lane and collided with William Gatlin, 31.

None of the passengers in Mullin’s car were wearing seat belts. Brown and Knaus were killed when they were thrown from the car; Saylor suffered multiple fractured ribs and a leg, as well as internal injuries, and Mullin fractured her hip.

Gatlin, whose car rolled onto its passenger side and “slid into a power pole with such force the pole snapped in two and fell into the street,” court documents read, suffered deep lacerations to his hand and needed 20 stitches.

At the time, State Patrol troopers said they believed alcohol was a factor in the collision, as well as high speed and bad driving conditions.

According to the police report, Mullin’s tires were “obviously bald” and the car was going between 90 and 100 miles per hour when the collision occurred.

After the wreck, Mullin told police she had one beer before driving, but Saylor said they had been drinking hard alcohol. Blood alcohol tests appear to confirm she had a blood alcohol concentration of around 0.10 during the crash, which is above the legal limit.

At the time the crash was being reported, it was unclear why Knaus was in the car with Mullin. According to court documents, Mullin appears to have been living with Knaus’ father and step-mother.

Mullin was arrested June 10, and arraignment was June 13. Bail was set at $250,000. A trial date has not been set.

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