Judge finds driver not guilty of meth impairment in I-5 crash that killed 2 girls

EVERETT, Wash. -- A judge found a Snohomish County driver not guilty of being impaired by methamphetamine in a crash that killed two young cousins on I-5, even though his blood tested positive for the drug.

The Everett Daily Herald reports Todd Eugene Brown was driving a pickup north near Lynnwood in 2017 when he rear-ended a Nissan with enough force to crush the van's back half.

Twelve-year-old Amiyah Johnson died at the scene and 2-year-old Yesterday Wallace died hours later.

Superior Court Judge Linda Krese heard from witnesses and spoke for 20 minutes to a packed courtroom Thursday to explain why she found Brown not guilty of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.

“The difficulty here is not that the state failed to present available evidence,” Krese said, according to the Herald. “But the state of science with regard to the effects of methamphetamine is not such that clear conclusions can be drawn as to the effect of the drug on individual actions at particular times, particularly with regard to driving, without more evidence than is available in this case.”

She said expert testimony convinced her it couldn't be proven how meth had affected Brown.

She says the mere presence of the drug was not sufficient to draw a conclusion.

“You’re a killer, a killer,” said the girls’ grandmother, Linda Snyder, according to the paper. “No, it’s not over. It’ll never be over.”

“We might as well put a sign out on the road that says, ‘OK to drive on meth and kill people.’”