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A Tumwater man was killed when a car he was a passenger in rolled over. A mail box post came through the windshield, striking the passenger and causing the vehicle to lose control. The man died at the scene of the accident. He was only 22 years old.

Investigators said Smith was driving northbound on Shincke Road N.E. around 1 a.m. when he passed another vehicle — also headed northbound — but lost control and drove onto the right shoulder, hitting several mail boxes.

Haas died at the scene. Smith was transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital with minor injuries and later booked into the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of vehicular homicide.

When someone commits a crime which causes (even unintentional) injuries to another, there is very strong evidence of negligence. This “strong evidence” of negligence is important in cases like this because direct evidence often becomes hard to come by. Sadly, the dead passenger will never be able to tell his side of the story. But Washington law allows his family to recover when he cannot. And Washington law allows the driver’s criminal conduct to become evidence of liability.

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Cars and Motorcycle Accidents.

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