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Auburn man charged with vehicular assault

King County prosecutors on Wednesday charged a 24-year-old Auburn man with vehicular assault for allegedly hitting a passing motorist who was filling up his gas tank on the right shoulder of I-5 in Sea-Tac March 28.

Patrick Franklin, 40, of Bellevue was transported to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries after Mugiraneza Vianne, a native of Tanzania, hit him, according to court papers.

Prosecutors allege that Vianne was driving his maroon 1999 Nissan Quest minivan just north of the 200th street exit on March 28 under the influence of alcohol and while talking on his cell phone. According to court papers, he drifted out of his lane of travel onto the paved right shoulder where he struck Franklin, who was fueling his disabled vehicle. Franklin sustained life-threatening injuries, including a broken neck and possible paralysis.

According to court papers, Vianne was exhibiting signs of impairment, and his cell phone log indicated phone calls in process at the time of the accident. Witnesses also saw him holding a cell phone when the collision occured. He was placed under arrest for vehicular assault and a blood draw was performed under special evidence.

There was one passenger in Franklin’s vehicle at the time of the collision who was not injured.

Prosecutors asked for $100,000 bail.

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