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A driver who the Washington State Patrol believes is responsible for a fatal crash on I-405 late Thursday may have been under the influence of methamphetamine.
One person was killed and four injured in the three-car crash on southbound I-405 at NE 4th in Bellevue.
The man made statements to troopers at the scene that led them to suspect he was under the influence of meth or something similar, Trooper Chris Webb said. Investigators are waiting for the result of drug tests. They’ll also get a warrant to search the wreckage of his car.
Two other cars were involved in the crash about 10 p.m. The injuries appeared to be moderate, Webb said. All were taken to nearby Overlake Hospital Medical Center.
The suspect is a Woodinville man, 27, who remained in the hospital Friday morning. When released, he’ll be jailed for investigation of vehicular homicide and possibly other charges, Webb said.
The driver who died in his burning car has been identified as Ian Riley Beckford, 22, of Federal Way, according to Seattle lawyer Eric Makus.
“He was a graduate of Federal Way High School and he was on his way home from a day at Lake Sammamish of waterskiing and swimming.”
The medical examiner will determine whether Beckford was killed by the crash or being trapped in the fire, Webb said.
Beckford planned to attend college this fall, Makus said. He lived with his parents.
“The family is in a deep sense of loss,” Makus said.
The injured include a Woodinville woman, 25, who was a passenger in the suspect’s car and two people from Woodinville in another vehicle he hit.
The crash closed all southbound lanes of the freeway until 5 a.m. Friday. One of the reasons for the long closure was the wreckage covered about 2,000 feet – more than a third of a mile. It was one of the largest crash scenes Webb said he had seen in a 22-year career.
“It takes a long time to check all the debris, all the vehicles, mark the scene and gather evidence,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.