Prosecutor’s office explains why no charges were filed in Ashley Guevara’s death
KENNEWICK, Wash. — Months after 21-year-old Ashley Guevara fell out of a moving car, Benton County Prosecutors are not charging anyone with her death.
The young mother was subsequently hit by an oncoming car, who did not stop.
The pain of losing a loved one to such a horrible incident is still clear.
“I think everybody’s just kinda (sic) scrambling day by day trying to be there for one another; nothing’s ever the same,” Tiffany Dugger, Ashley’s cousin said.
At the intersection of Clearwater Avenue and Morain Street, Deputy Prosecutor Andrew Clark says video shows Ashley attempting to open the passenger door, when the driver began to turn left.
“Immediately, our understanding is that the back passengers yelled that she fell out and then she immediately pulled into a parking lot. She didn’t flee the scene or anything like that,” he explained.
The driver’s actions, Clark said, are okay under law.
“Legally speaking the hit and run statute approves of people moving their vehicles onto adjacent streets and onto parking lots and not obstructing the roadway with their vehicle,” he said.
Dugger said friends tried to wave down oncoming traffic so they could get to Ashley. However, the driver who ran over her, allegedly didn’t see them, and drove off.
Now, her family just wants someone to be held accountable.
“The impact was so loud, the camera was across the street and you can hear it as if somebody took a hammer to the camera,” Tiffany said.
“Effectively under the law in the state of Washington, if you drive negligently and it results in a collision that results in death, it is not vehicle homicide. There was no evidence of impairment, the speed estimates were 32 miles an hour which is very consistent with the speed limit there. There was no weaving, disobeying traffic lights before or after, nothing that we could say or speculate that maybe he was under the influence,” Andrew explained.
Clark said his office can’t prove that the second driver knew what he hit and by just looking at the car, the damage wasn’t apparent.
“It was not until they got it up on jacks underneath it and then they brought in the WSP forensic unit to find forensic evidence and that’s when they were able to tell yes we have the right vehicle,” Clark said.
It’s not the answer Ashley’s family hoped for.
“We’re upset obviously because the fact that the person that hit her drove off. I don’t see how there can’t be justice. We all know, it was not an intentional he-went-out-to-go-kill-her, but it happened,” Tiffany said.
“Us deciding not to file criminal charges, is not us condoning what happened, it’s saying that there’s a piece that we would have to prove that we can’t,” Clark added.
“We deserve justice, she deserves justice, she died and she shouldn’t have died and she leaves behind her baby boy,” Tiffany said they won’t give up until someone is held accountable.
Dugger explained that family has reached out to the Governor as well as the Washington State Attorney General for a second opinion.
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