Vehicular homicide, possession of methamphetamine charges filed in death of pedestrian

Prosecutors have charged James Gordon Southard Jr. with felony vehicular homicide and unlawful possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) in the Saturday death of a 47-year-old pedestrian in the 10100 block of 214th Avenue East.

Pierce County Medical Examiners identified the man on Monday as Gary Slick.

According to witnesses, Slick was walking north on 214th and was struck from behind by a vehicle traveling in the same direction. Two witnesses said Southard’s vehicle swerved toward Slick as he was walking on the shoulder and then struck him.

Bystanders performed CPR on the man until emergency personnel arrived.

Slick  was transported to the hospital, where he died from his injuries.

According to charging papers, Southard initially drove on after hitting Slick and purchased a sports drink at a convenience store and appeared nervous and confused as police confronted him.

Southard repeatedly told police “this isn’t my fault” and “he walked out into the road.”

During a search police located a baggie of methamphetamine, 17 whole and seven half Clonazepam pills, 19 whole Lorazepam pills and 131 methadone hydrochloride pills.

Southard also appeared to police to be groggy and disoriented and two vials of his blood were collected and are pending analysis by the Washington State Toxicology Laboratory.