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Driver arrested after construction worker fatally hit

May 18, 2021 GMT

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — A judge has set bail at $1 million for a driver accused of fatally hitting a construction site worker in Washington state last weekend after police said she had a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit.

Jada J. Gibson, 21, was arrested Saturday and was being held in the Yakima County jail following the death of Bonnie M. Stewart, 51, the Tri-City Herald reported Tuesday.

Gibson was driving a Volkswagen Passat at 1:30 a.m. near the Yakima River Bridge when she hit Stewart as the worker stepped off a mixer truck into the street, authorities said. Stewart died before she could be taken to a hospital.

A passenger in the vehicle, Ganell G. Arthur, 18, had a broken ankle and another passenger, Jenna J. Gibson, 20, suffered cuts, the Yakima Herald-Republic reported. They were treated at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital and released.

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Deputy Prosecutor Heather Thorn said Gibson is a risk to public safety because her breathalyzer test at the site came back to 0.27%. The legal limit to drive in Washington state is up to 0.08%.

Defense attorney Beth Wehrkamp said Gibson, who is an enrolled Yakama Nation member, is in court for her first alleged crime and should be released, citing a “really high” bail. Gibson appeared in court virtually on Monday.

“In light of the fact that we had one person suffer serious injuries — broken bones — and the other person was killed with you hitting them with your automobile, $1 million bail is appropriate at this time,” Judge Richard H. Bartheld said.

Adam Stewart, one of Stewart’s two sons, said an online fundraiser was set up to help raise money for his mother’s funeral.