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Man charged with vehicular homicide in crash that killed Brian Love
The King County Prosecutor on Wednesday filed vehicular homicide, felony hit and run, and reckless endangerment charges against the man it alleges drove the SUV that struck and killed 56-year-old cabbie Brian F. Love in the early morning hours of July 5 in downtown Auburn.
Floyd D. Gonzalez, 29, of Auburn, is in King County Jail on $1 million bail. He will be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. on July 22 in Courtroom GA at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.
The vehicular homicide charge alleges that Gonzales was under the influence of alcohol and driving in a reckless manner at the time of the collision. Prosecutors tie the reckless endangerment charge to the allegation that, by speeding and failing to stop for a red light, Gonzales put his girlfiend and sole passenger, Latasha Moses, 21, at "a substantial risk of death and serious injury."
Here, according to court papers filed with the charges, is what happened.
At 5:5O a.m. on July 5, Gonzales, traveling at an estimated 50 to 60 miles per hour on Auburn Way North in his girlfriend's 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe, blew through a red light at the intersection of Auburn Way North and East Main Street. Although he narrowly missed an eastbound Auburn Police patrol car that had just cleared the green-lighted intersection, court papers say, he slammed into the driver's door of the red taxi just behind it, killing Love on impact.
According to court papers, the force of the collision flipped Gonzalez' vehicle onto its roof and it slid to a stop just south of the taxi. Gonzalez, bleeding from his arm, immediately crawled out, according to court papers. Although a witness offered to help him to a curb, court papers say, Gonzales ran away westbound on foot, without first checking for any possible injuries to the occupants of either vehicle.
Police caught up with Gonzales at Second and South Division, and with the help of a witness, identified him as the driver of the SUV. There, showing obvious signs of impairment, according to court papers, Gonzales admitted that he was "intoxicated."
The excuse Gonzales gave officers for speeding, according to court papers, was that he'd been coming from "a drug deal" gone bad and that he was fleeing "after being chased by some black guys." He also mentioned leaving a party some time before the collision.
Police obtained a search warrant for Gonzalez' blood to check for intoxicants. The results of the tests are pending.
Moses, who sustained serious injuries, had be extricated from the vehicle. She was taken to Multicare Auburn Medical Center, where she was treated and released the same day. She has declined to cooperate with the investigation, and the extent of her injuries is unknown.
According to court papers, Gonzalez is a convicted felon, who was sentenced to more than 10 years in Thurston County for assault 2 and kidnapping 1 in 2001. He was released last December but is on active community custody for those crimes.
Among his juvenile convictions are escape 1 (Grant County, Nov. 2000), assault 3 (Grays Harbor, 1999), vehicle prowl-robbery 1 (Grays Harbor, 1999), assault 4 (1996 and 1998), theft 2 (1997) residential burglary (1997), two counts of vehicle prowl (1997), two counts of theft (1996) and using a cellphone while driving (April 2013).