Newspaper Articles on Vehicular Homicide Charges

From my journal dated November 16, 2002:

Marie [Alina’s mom] called me this morning to apologize for how the Seattle Times article was presented. I told her it wasn’t her responsibility…and I meant that in the nicest way. She said someone needed to apologize to us.

It was pretty much what I expected. From the beginning, media focus has been on the Christianson’s tragedy, the fact that Brian was at the scene, and that they lost a son in a car accident eleven years ago. If they mention Jason, they don’t even refer to him by his first name. He’s mentioned as “Carney,” the “driver” of the car, or “Alina’s friend.” It’s hard not to feel that Jason and the tragedy of his death has been either overshadowed or completely disappeared.

Today’s Herald article was similar. They make it sound like the accident was Jason’s fault!

I know it’s a huge tragedy for the Christiansons! There’s no doubt about it! But, don’t they realize that Jason’s death is such a huge tragedy, too? It has shattered our lives. Our lives – and we, right along with them – will never be the same.

Oh, my precious boy! I miss you!!! How can you be gone??



Seattle Times article


Charges Are Filed

From my journal dated November 15, 2002:

Marie got a call from a Seattle Times reporter tonight, and then she called me right away. The reporter was doing a story on the charges that were filed yesterday by the prosecutor’s office against the drunk driver who killed Jason and Alina. There’s going to be an article in tomorrow’s Times.

No one had even called either of us!!! AT ALL!!! The reporter had copies of the charging documents filed in Superior Court and wanted quotes or something!

I called the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, wanting to get some questions answered – like why should we hear this from a newspaper reporter instead of some official notification???!!

They filed only one count of vehicular homicide against him and one count of felony hit and run. The deputy said it was a plea bargain offer. If he says he’s guilty, it goes to sentencing and he goes to jail. If he says not guilty, they will up the charges to two counts of vehicular homicide and one count of hit and run.

The deputy said he had gotten an email this week from the prosecutor’s office that this is what they were thinking. He didn’t know they had actually filed the charges.

We ended up getting most of the information from the reporter. She tracked down the prosecutor and called her at home. The prosecutor said their victim’s advocate representative was out of town and that’s why we didn’t get called.

That’s no excuse!!! To find out from a newspaper reporter is an awful way for this to be handled! It’s an awful way to find out.

It’s like when the Herald [newspaper] published an article the day after the accident, telling things about the accident and the extent of injuries to Jason and Alina when WE hadn’t even been informed of anything yet.

The deputy asked what I thought about one vehicular homicide charge being filed. I told him it was a crock. Exactly whose life are they validating? Jason’s? Alina’s? Half apiece? It just goes against my sense of justice.