The Gig Harbor man whom authorities say was drunk when he flipped over his vehicle early Saturday - ejecting him and his 9-year-old nephew from the car - was charged with vehicular homicide on Tuesday in Pierce County Superior Court.
Jayce Randall, 26, was also charged with reckless endangerment. He was booked into Pierce County Jail on Monday night.
He pled not guilty at his arraignment on Tuesday.
According to the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, Randall and his nephew, Donovan Best, and niece left a family barbecue around 1 a.m. on Saturday, March 16. The crash happened soon after as he was exiting westbound State Route 16 at the Purdy/State Route 302 exit.
Court documents indicate that Randall lost control of the car as he was exiting the highway. He crossed over the double yellow center lane and then corrected back to the right. His vehicle then left the roadway and struck the right ditch before rolling over at least once.
The car traveled more than 200 feet from where it initially left the roadway to its final rest point.
Randall was ejected from the car and came to rest near the car.
Donovan was also ejected and came to rest on the paved right shoulder—about 50 feet away from the car.
Charging papers reveal that Randall was only wearing a shoulder belt.
Donovan was also sitting in the front passenger seat, and officials believe he was also secured only with a shoulder strap. He died Sunday night at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital after he was taken off life support.
Randall’s 8-year-old niece was sitting in the backseat and was buckled. After the crash, she was able to climb out of the window of the car and flag down passing motorists for help.
She told police that she was crying and begged their uncle to slow down immediately before the incident.
Randall, who allegedly blew a blood alcohol level that was more than twice the legal limit, was driving too fast on State Route 16 near Purdy, according to court documents.
Officials also located a large plastic bag containing about 122.5 grams of marijuana inside the car.
He told authorities that he had four drinks and smoked some marijuana an hour before the crash.
Medics transported Randall to Tacoma General Hospital after he was initially arrested for vehicular assault.
Randall is held on a $250,000 bond and prohibited from contacting the victim, witnesses and the victim’s mother upon release.
"Drugs, drinking, and driving lead to senseless tragedies like this," said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. "Our prayers go out to the victim's surviving 8-year-old sister and her family."
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be forthcoming.