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Trial Date Set For Fatal Mercer Island DUI Case

Posted on Mar 04, 2020

See criminal court filings.  See civil court filings.

The civil trial date has been set for this June for a fatal Mercer Island drunk driving case.  Davis Law Group, P.S. filed the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the widow of Solomon D. Johnson who was killed in a Mercer Island drunk driving crash in 2017.

fatal mercer island drunk driving crash lawsuit
Photo Credit: KOMO News

At about 6:45am on the morning of September 1, 2017, 20-year-old Brian M. Shields of Issaquah was operating a 2013 Mercedes Benz 300-SD on Mercer Island while under the influence of alcohol.  He was driving with an open bottle of vodka in the center cup holder.  

Near the intersection of West Mercer Way and Southeast 24th Street on Mercer Island Shields was traveling at an extremely high rate of speed (some witness reports estimate 70 mph) when he rear-ended the 1999 Pontiac Sunfire driven by Johnson which had slowed at a 4-way stop sign.  Johnson’s vehicle was pushed off the road and into a tree.  

Solomon Johnson died at the crash scene.  The King County Medical Examiner listed Johnson's cause of death as multiple blunt force injuries and the manner as accident.  Johnson is survived by his wife Candace.

Shields attempted to flee the crash scene, and climbed into a treehouse to hide from police.  When officers found him he initially denied being in the crash and insisted that he had just been hanging out in the treehouse.  He later changed his story and said that he was a passenger in the Mercedes, not the driver.  Eventually he admitted that he had just gotten out of jail, had been celebrating, and was driving at the time of the accident.  He was apprehended by Mercer Island police and booked into King County Jail on the charge of vehicular homicide.

According to criminal court filings, the night before the crash police were called to a Mercer Island bar to handle a loitering complaint.  Officers found Shields and a friend hanging outside the bar where Shields had been vomiting.  Both men seemed visibility intoxicated.  They told officers that they planned to walk to Shield’s grandmother’s Mercer Island home to spend the night.  At 6:30am on September 1st Shield’s grandmother contacted police when she realized that her car was missing.  

Mercer Island Vehicular Homicide

Shields had a criminal record that included burglary, assault, malicious mischief, obstruction, DUI, theft and escape.  On Nov. 30, 2017, Shields pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, and was later sentenced to 136 months in prison.

See criminal court filings.  See civil court filings.

DLG Case Number: 202264
Case Title: Johnson v. Shields, et al.
Docket: 19-2-14831-4 SEA​
Court: Superior Court of King County for Washington
Date Filed: 06/04/2019
Trial Date: 06/01/2020

Prosecuting Attorney's Summary 

Civil Complaint For Damages