King County prosecutors contend Aneet Chandra slammed into a guard rail late on May 1 while checking out a cellular phone photo of a scantily clad woman. Investigators contend Chandra had been drinking that night, though it wasn't yet clear whether his blood alcohol level was above the legal limit.
The crash killed Asha Salim, a 20-year-old Federal Way woman who was riding in Chandra's Cadillac. Chandra and three others in the Cadillac suffered life-threatening injuries; two passengers remained on life-support a week after the crash.
According to charging papers, Chandra had been drinking vodka and smoking tobacco out of a hookah at a University District apartment prior to the crash.
Chandra left the party for Federal Way with himself and six others piled into his five-seat Cadillac Eldorado. Salim and a 19-year-old young woman were riding on the laps of men in the two-door vehicle; only two of the passengers were wearing seat belts.
Investigators contend Chandra headed south on I-5 at speeds beyond 80 mph, weaving through traffic.
As he approached the South Forrest Street exit just south of downtown Seattle, Chandra's front passenger handed him a cell phone displaying a "picture of a risqu dressed girl" immediately before he lost control of the car shortly before midnight.
The car slammed into a "gore point" - a guard rail separating the exit ramp from the freeway. Salim struck her head on the roof of the car as she was thrown from it, and died at the scene.
One passenger suffered severe head and chest injuries and was on life support at Harborview Medical Center following the crash. Four other passengers suffered broken bones and internal injuries.
Investigators contend Chandra smelled of alcohol and appeared drunk at the accident scene. A blood draw was conducted after Chandra lost consciousness; court documents indicate a search warrant was obtained.
Prosecutors contend Chandra was under the influence of alcohol and distracted by electronics when he crashed his car.
He has been charged with vehicular homicide, three counts of vehicular assault and two counts of reckless endangerment. He remains jailed on $1 million bail.