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Charges filed after year-long investigation into fatal 2020 Halloween crash

Brendan Lee Palmer was arranged Monday, Oct. 11., and plead not guilty.

After a year-long investigation, charges have finally been filed against the man allegedly who crashed his car last Halloween, killing one and causing a power outage for thousands of Enumclaw residents.

According to court documents, Brendan Lee Palmer, 30, was driving his red Ford F150 pickup in Enumclaw just after midnight with his friends Derick Graves, Jordan Bowman, and Levi Paulson; they had spent the past few hours “going to three or four bars.”

Witnesses told investigators they saw Palmer’s car speeding at around “100 mph” before crashing near the intersection of Roosevelt Avenue and state Route 410, near the U.S. Bank building.

Officers on scene described the car as “completely unrecognizable” and were only able to determine the model and make after a record check on the license plate.

“The grill and front bumper of the vehicle was pushed back into the engine block, the passenger side tires were bent outwards, the roof of the vehicle was crushed, a large telephone/power pole was laying across the top of the vehicle near the front passenger wheel, each door panel was damaged, and the tailgate was almost completely detached,” reads a report from EPD Officer Amanda Reeves.

The truck crashed at exactly 12:26 a.m., which was when Puget Sound Energy recorded the power going out across the city; approximately 7,000 people were affected.

As officers approached the vehicle, they first noticed Graves had been ejected from the car and suffered “catastrophic injuries”; he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sitting in the back seat, Bowman suffered “mild-moderate traumatic brain injury and fractures to his neck and shoulder,” documents read, and Paulson a broken hand. Palmer himself was “bleeding from the head” but was able to verbally communicate with officers before being transported to Valley Medical Center for his injuries.

In talking with officers, Palmer admitted to “consuming several beers” before driving, documents continue. A search warrant to test his blood was approved three hours after the crash, and it showed Palmer having a blood-alcohol content of .18, just over two times the legal limit.

The toxicology lab also reported he had signs of recently using cocaine.

Palmer was charged Sept. 27, 2021, with one count of reckless driving, two counts of vehicular assault, and one count vehicular homicide. He was arranged last Monday, Oct. 11., and plead not guilty.

The Courier-Herald has reached out to Palmer’s Attorney at Puget Law Group for comment.

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