4/18/2014

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Not guilty plea in deadly wrong-way crash on Hwy. 520

Not guilty plea in deadly wrong-way crash on Hwy. 520
SEATTLE - The man accused of driving drunk the wrong way on Highway 520 and killing a woman in a head-on crash pleaded not guilty Thursday to vehicular homicide.

An emotional Michael A. Robertson entered the plea in King County Superior Court, appearing to break down in tears at one point during the arraignment hearing. He was in a wheelchair, apparently due to a leg injury he sustained in the crash.

The victim, Morgan F. Williams, 58, of Seattle, was a 32-year employee of Eddie Bauer, and her ex-husband says she was on her way to work when the crash happened.

Washington State Patrol officials said Robertson, 25, was driving his SUV west in the eastbound lanes of the freeway and slammed head-on into Williams' Mazda near the Montlake exit at about 5:25 a.m. on April 4.

Firefighters had to cut the roof off of the Mazda to rescue Williams, who was trapped in the mangled wreck. She was taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition, and later died of her injuries.

Bill Carlone, a close friend of Williams who grew up with her in Oak Harbor, was in the courtroom at Thursday's arraignment. He wasn't moved by the tears that Robertson shed during the hearing.

"I wanted to see the guy here who did this to Morgan," he said. "He doesn't seem remorseful to me. He just sat there - he knew he did something wrong."

Now Carlone, along with other friends and family, want justice for Williams.

"It just tore me up … why … ask him why," said Carlone.

Investigators say Robertson was driving home after drinking with his friends in Seattle. He originally entered the freeway heading east toward Bellevue but apparently made a U-turn on the freeway and accelerated back toward Seattle, prosecutors said. Investigators say they found an empty bottle of whiskey in Robertson's front seat.

Court records show that Robertson was previously charged with DUI stemming from earlier incident in December and was scheduled to stand trial later this month.

If convicted, Robertson faces roughly 6 to 8 years in prison.
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