On August 7, 2012, 43-year-old Kelly Ann Hudson allegedly got behind the wheel of her minivan after consuming a combination of alcohol and prescription drugs and eventually crashed into a vehicle with four people inside, killing 81-year-old passenger Joyce Parsons as a result.
Investigators say that Hudson was driving southbound in the 12000 block of Juanita Drive Northeast just before 9 p.m. when she crossed the centerline and crashed head-on into a silver sedan carrying four people inside. Parsons was killed in the head-on collision and the remaining three passengers were taken to nearby hospitals to be treated for their injuries.
According to Kirkland police, a witness who was driving behind Hudson’s minivan in the moments leading up to the crash had called 911 to report a possibly impaired driver. News reports have indicated that the caller was actually still on the line with the 911 operator at the emergency dispatch center when the head-on crash happened.
“We had received calls on this vehicle, so it looks like a possible DUI,” Kirkland Police spokesman Sgt. Rob Saloum noted at the time.
Kelly Hudson’s ‘Absolutely Not Guilty’ Plea
When Kelly Hudson made her first court appearance on August 23 in relation to the fatal DUI crash she allegedly caused, she shocked the community when news outlets reported that she pleaded “absolutely not guilty” to vehicular assault and vehicular homicide charges. The not guilty plea came despite her admitting to police that she took prescription anxiety drugs with wine before getting behind the wheel.
On September 30 of this year, however, The Seattle Times reported that Hudson pleaded guilty to multiple charges including vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and reckless driving related to the fatal accident. Hudson was among the first to face Washington state’s revamped DUI laws, which officially went into effect in June 2012, just about a month before the accident occurred.
Under the state’s new DUI laws, the standard sentencing range for vehicular homicide involving DUI increased from a minimum of 31 months to a minimum of 78 months in jail. According to news reports, prosecutors will recommend 11 years when Hudson is sentenced later in November of this year.