Burien Woman Pleads Guilty In Fatal Wreck

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Cerissa ChristensenA Burien woman pleaded guilty today of driving drunk the wrong way down I-5 before slamming into a pickup truck, killing an 18-year-old woman and badly injuring her boyfriend.

Cerrissa Christensen will likely face 6 1/2 years in prison when she is sentenced April 25 in King County Superior Court.

The 27-year-old woman pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and vehicular assault for the Oct. 9 crash, which killed Bawny McQuistin, who was riding in the passenger seat as her boyfriend, Eric Hillstrom, 19, drove toward downtown Seattle.

Hillstrom suffered broken bones in his legs and back and was left with serious brain injuries.

Christensen had been drinking at a Seattle bar before the crash. Several of her friends told her she was too drunk to drive and offered to give her a ride, but she managed to sneak away and get behind the wheel, Deputy Prosecutor Amy Freedheim said.

She entered the freeway’s northbound lanes headed south. She was speeding — 100 mph at times — in the car pool lane when she saw a state trooper and slowed down, “not even comprehending that she was going the wrong way,” Freedheim said.Car Crash

The trooper and others tried, unsuccessfully, to get her to stop.

Her blood-alcohol level was 0.25 percent — more than three times the legal limit — according to court documents.

Christensen would have faced roughly 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 years for the charges, but she had a previous drunken-driving conviction that added two years to her sentence range. Prosecutors and her lawyer agreed to the top end of that range.

She also has a previous drug charge and various driving tickets and convictions, including ones for reckless driving and hit-and-run.


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