No charges against driver in death of pedestrian

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Prosecutors have dropped a driving-under-the-influence charge against a Port Angeles woman initially arrested for investigation of vehicular homicide and DUI after the car she was driving fatally struck a pedestrian.

Charges against Marlene Terese Brand, 49, could be refiled after the State Patrol finishes its investigation.

Bonita N. Bickford, 49, of Port Angeles died Oct. 7 after she was hit at about
8 p.m. by Brand’s car. She was crossing U.S. Highway 101 between Golf Course Road and Olympic Lodge using a walker outside of a crosswalk, the State Patrol said.

On Oct. 10, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jesse Espinoza declined to file a vehicular homicide charge against Brand pending further investigation by the State Patrol.

“We can’t prove that beyond a reasonable doubt that there was anything about her driving, besides just driving the vehicle, that caused the death,” Espinoza said then.

Brand’s blood alcohol level was 0.124 percent, the State Patrol said.

Deputy Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney Alexandrea Schodowski said she moved this week to have the DUI charge against Brand dismissed without prejudice in county District Court.

“Without prejudice” means charges still could be filed based on additional evidence.

Schodowski said prosecutors will review the case again after the State Patrol finishes its investigation.

Trooper Russ Winger, State Patrol spokesman, said Wednesday that detectives continue to investigate the collision.

“Our detectives still have the ball on that,” Winger said.

Brand was driving westbound in the right lane of Highway 101 and braked before she hit Bickford, according to State Patrol accounts.

Brand was not listed on the Clallam County jail roster Wednesday.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: October 23. 2013 7:47PM
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