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Driver pleads not guilty in fatal high-speed crash on I-405
The Woodinville man accused of causing a fatal crash on Interstate 405 after using drugs and racing at speeds up to 150 mph pleaded not guilty Monday during his arraignment in King County Superior Court.
Seattle Times staff
The Woodinville man accused of causing a fatal crash on Interstate 405 after using drugs and racing at speeds up to 150 mph pleaded not guilty to a trio of charges Monday during his arraignment in King County Superior Court.
Samuel C. Sampson is charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and reckless driving in connection with the Sept. 12 crash in Bellevue that killed a 22-year-old man. Sampson, 27, remains in jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
In the statement of probable cause that outlines the state’s case, prosecutors say Sampson was driving his wife’s Audi RS4 on I-405 around 10 p.m. when he struck Riley Beckford’s BMW, which burst into flames.
King County prosecutors said Sampson told police after the collision that he had been “bored, I guess,” when he was racing, swerving and “going really fast” on the freeway. He said he had used methamphetamines, heroin and methadone in the days and hours leading up to the crash, according to the probable-cause statement.
A spokeswoman for the family of Sampson’s wife, who did not want to be named, said the couple had gotten into a fight at their Woodinville condo earlier that day and that Sampson tore up the condo and tried to choke his wife.
Sampson allegedly told his wife he was taking her car, and she ran out and got in the car to stop him, the family spokeswoman said. She said the fight continued in the car and that Sampson attempted to push her out onto the interstate.
Court documents say the wife told police Sampson made her unbuckle her seat belt before the collision.
Sampson’s wife and a passenger in one of two other vehicles involved in the collision suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
Sampson moved here from New York in May.
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.