Prosecutor: Driver was lighting cigarette when she killed Kenmore man

Prosecutor: Driver was lighting cigarette when she killed Kenmore man
J.D. Humphreys
KENMORE, Wash. - A Kenmore woman accused of fleeing the scene after fatally striking a pedestrian early Monday morning has been charged with hit-and-run.

King County prosecutors claim Sydney K. Jones accidentally killed 31-year-old Joseph Humphreys as he walked on the edge of a Kenmore road.

Jones, 24, is alleged to have left the crash scene only to return to report finding a dead body. According to charging papers, Jones turned herself in the following day.

Prosecutors contend Jones was driving in the 18400 block of 62nd Avenue Northeast shortly after midnight when she hit Humphreys, who was walking on the edge of the unpainted two-lane road.

The impact sent Humphries “flying” and damaged the front right corner of Jones’ truck, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Amy Freedheim said in charging papers. Jones drove home, the prosecutor continued, while Humphries lay dead.

About 80 minutes later, Jones walked back to the crash scene and called 911, saying she’d come across the dead man while walking her dog, Freedheim continued. King County deputies found parts from a Ford F150 at the scene and began searching for the truck.

Jones turned herself in the following day.

According to a King County detective’s account, Jones told investigators she was driving "a little faster than she should have" and lighting a cigarette when she felt a bump. She is alleged to have told the detective she didn’t see anything but returned to the scene after realizing her truck had been damaged.

Jones has been charged with felony hit-and-run. King County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Dan Donohoe said prosecutors don’t have sufficient evidence to support a charge of vehicular homicide, which would require evidence of alcohol, drugs or recklessness.

Jones, who has no substantive criminal history, was released from King County Jail after posting bond on $25,000 bail. She is expected to be arraigned Nov. 7 in King County Superior Court.