Man faces vehicular homicide charges in Tacoma man's death

Man faces vehicular homicide charges in Tacoma man's death

Credit: KING

Man faces vehicular homicide charges in Tacoma man's death

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by JANET KIM / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @JanetKimK5

KING5.com

Posted on May 29, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Updated Thursday, May 29 at 5:16 PM

TACOMA, Wash. --  A Spanaway man is facing charges of vehicular homicide for a crash that killed a well-known Tacoma businessman. Jason Tamayo, 44, pleaded not guilty in court Thursday.

While it's business as usual on Commerce Street in Tacoma, a sidewalk memorial sheds light on a tragedy that took place just days before.

"It was just a horrific scene; there is a description, but nothing you want to relive or speak about again," said Chris Diloreto, who owns a restaurant near the crash.

Witnesses stood horrified as a jeep came barreling down the road on May 23 and slammed into 56-year old Mark Nigh, who was delivering glass at the Winthrop Apartments.

"There was no screeching of tires, it was just a big slam," said Diloreto. "It was a bad scene. The man's son, who I found out later, was administering first aid to them."

Nigh doesn't just leave behind a son who cradled his father after the crash, but an entire family and friends standing together as support continues to pour into his YouCaring donation site.

Police say 44-year old Jason Tamayo was behind the wheel and now faces charges of vehicular homicide. Court documents reveal a paramedic found a plastic baggie with meth inside Tamayo's sock.

"The allegation is that Mr. Tamayo was under the influence on methamphetamine and that the victim was just doing his job on a weekday afternoon and ended up dying, we felt that the defendant was a risk to the public in general and this was a way to help safeguard the public," said Pierce County Assistant Chief Deputy Stephen Penner.

It's why prosecutors asked for $1 million bail -- not enough says a community still in mourning.

"I think it should be worse," said Diloreto. "I think it was murder plain and simple." 

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