4/24/2014

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Charge: High driver hit 120 mph before deadly Bellevue wreck

Charge: High driver hit 120 mph before deadly Bellevue wreck
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SEATTLE -- A 27-year-old man was high on heroin and driving at more than 120 mph Thursday when he crashed in Bellevue, killing another driver, King County prosecutors claim.

Now charged with vehicular homicide and related offenses, Samuel Sampson is alleged to have admitted to taking drugs because he was "bored" before the crash that killed 22-year-old Ian Beckford.

Shortly before the 9:50 p.m. wreck, Sampson was driving with his wife in her 2008 Audi RS4 when the couple began arguing. According to charging papers, Sampson told police he'd shot methamphetamine for the first time the day before and had been physically fighting with his wife for some time at their Woodinville home.

According to charging papers, Sampson "flipped out" while driving south on Interstate 405 into Bellevue. Sampson allegedly told the woman he wanted them both to die, unbuckled her seatbelt as well as his own and began accelerating.

The woman later told police she believes the car was going 140 mph as they approached Northeast Fourth Street in downtown Bellevue, where the Audi slammed into the rear of Beckford's BMW sedan.

Prosecutors estimate his speed at more than 120 mph.

The crash forced Beckford's car into another vehicle and the concrete center divider. The car burst into flames during the wreck and came to rest in the left lane; trapped inside, Beckford died at the scene.

Sampson struck another car before coming to rest in the right lane. While he remained wedged in the car, his wife and he both sustained non-life threatening injuries.

In addition to vehicular homicide, Sampson has been charged with vehicular assault due to his wife's injuries and reckless driving. He remains jailed on $1 million bail, and is expected to appear for arraignment on Sept. 30.
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