Wrongful Death Car Accident

An accident happened on Tuesday, March 19th of 2023. An 18-year-old driver named Chase Daniel Jones ran a red light at an intersection a little before one in the afternoon. He was speeding over 112 miles per hour in a stretch of road where the speed limit was 40 miles per hour. Witnesses saw him recklessly weaving in and out of traffic at high speeds before the deadly crash. 

His car, an Audi A4 that he’d only gotten a month before, T-boned a minivan, completely totaling both vehicles. He showed no signs of braking. The crash occurred in the unincorporated community of Fairwood, near Renton, at the intersection of Southeast 192nd Street and 140th Avenue Southeast. The collision was so forceful that it pushed the minivan into two other vehicles before it rolled onto its side and came to a stop. 

The violent accident caused four people to die, and three others to be seriously injured. The people that died were killed instantly from the impact of the crash. Of the dead included a mother, 38-year old Andrea Hudson, as well as three children of her close friends: sisters Matilda Wilcoxson, age 13, and Eloise Wilcoxson, age 12, as well as Boyd Buster Brown, who was 12. Two of Andrea Hudson’s own children, 14-year-old Nolan and 12-year-old Charlotte, were also in the crash, but survived and were taken to Harborview Medical Center where they remain in intensive care. Hudson was taking the children home from a homeschooling activity. 

The at-fault driver, Jones, was also injured badly in the crash and taken to the hospital where he remains. He was given serious charges, including two counts of reckless driving and vehicular assault with aggravated injury, as well as four counts of vehicular homicide. On Monday, April 1st, he pleaded not guilty to the charges. He had to appear at his hearing through a Zoom call from his hospital bed. 

He was booked into King County Jail, and his bail was initially set at one million dollars before it was lowered by the court to 100,000 dollars. This amount was set after hearing from the victim’s families as well as Jones’ account of the incident. Chase Jones’ defense attorney requested that he be released on “his personal recognizance.” This means that he would have to promise to appear at court hearings in the future. However, this was rejected by county prosecutors. Jones has to have an electronic home monitoring device if he posts bail, or within one day of being released from the hospital. Understandably, he is forbidden from driving any motor vehicles. His arraignment is scheduled for April 4th. 

Car Accident Law Firm

This is not the first time that Jones has been caught speeding. The reason that he was driving a new Audi bought only a month before this crash and still with its temporary plates on, is because he totaled a different car in a crash on January 23rd. The Audi was actually the third car that he destroyed from speeding over the course of a year. In one of the cases, he was going to fast to avoid crashing and T-boned a car at an intersection. In the other one, the other driver didn’t see Jones because he was going so fast. In both accidents, Jones’ parents were at the site before police arrived. 

This begs the question: why was Jones still allowed to drive? There are police recordings from previous incidents where he admits that he was purposefully speeding. Chase Jones was let off by the police with just a warning, with an officer calling it a “mistake,” and saying that Jones just needed to learn his lesson. Clearly, he did not. If a person just has speeding tickets, they could still keep their license. Unless you don’t pay the fines for your speeding tickets, you’re unlikely to get your license suspended. 

However, having a bad driving record will increase your insurance rates. Insurance for teenagers is already expensive, because they’re more likely to get into an accident. It’s likely that Jones is on his parent’s insurance policy, and they also were the ones buying him new cars after he destroyed them with his irresponsible actions. If it’s true that he’s on their insurance policy, then their insurance policy might be liable for the accident. More than that, though, the parents should feel partially responsible for the accident for letting their son drive, knowing that he is a danger to other people on the road. If they were the owners of the car, then the parents may face civil responsibility under negligent entrustment (although not criminal liability)

In the aftermath of the accident, many families were affected and are suffering. On Friday, a vigil was held to pay respects to the deceased. Hundreds of people attended, gathering first at a park and then carrying lit candles to the accident site. There is a growing memorial there, with stuffed animals and flower bouquets. The vigil was organized by Jacqueline D’Eon Robertson, whose son played soccer with Boyd Buster Brown. She used to coach his team. During the vigil, people stood in a circle and sang the Mormon hymn “The Spirit of God.” 

The father of the two inseparable sisters that were killed, Chace Wilcoxson, said that there aren’t any words that can properly express the feeling of grief that comes from losing a child. He said that with the lights of the victims missing from the world, it feels dark and cold. The father of Boyd Buster Brown remembers him as a sweet kid who loved the outdoors, playing the violin, and playing sports. Andrea Hudson’s sister described her as a selfless, calm, and patient person that was a strong woman and great mother. 

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident caused by another person’s reckless or negligent behavior on the road, it’s important to seek justice. The families of the victims in this case are expressing forgiveness. However, an important part of healing for a lot of people is to recover compensation. It can help immensely in taking care of expenses so that victims and their families don’t have to worry about that during such a stressful time. 

Get in touch with Seattle Injury Law for information about how we represent accident victims and fight for them.