By Rick Bannan / For The Chronicle
A La Center man accused of crashing his truck into a car on National Highway 503 in Clark County, killing three teenagers, including a girl from Napavine, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of homicide in Clark County. flying.
In a Clark County Superior Court appearance Friday, David Zarb, 46, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Initially, he only faced a single charge of homicide and driving and multiple counts of assaulting a vehicle, although two of the four people involved in the crash died within days of the crash. .
According to court documents, the Washington State Patrol responded to the area of State Highway 503 and Gabriel Highway in a head-on collision between two vehicles at around 1:30 p.m. on June 14. The affidavit indicated that Zarb was heading north on State Highway 503. when he crossed the center line with his F-150 and hit the victim’s vehicle head on, a Mazda 3.
Both vehicles rotated before stopping, the affidavit states.
Victims of the crash include Ivy Hunt, 16, of Napavine, who died at the scene, and Harumi and Emi Yato, both 15, of Yacolt, who later died in a hospital. As a result of the crash on June 17, WSP reported that one of Yato’s teenagers, who was a passenger, had died. WSP reported that the other teenager died on June 21.
The car’s fourth occupant, Danlette Yato, 66, also from Yacolt, was slightly injured.
According to an affidavit of probable cause for Zarb’s arrest, when a detective approached Zarb’s vehicle, he noticed “a smell of intoxicants coming from inside the truck.” Zarb admitted to WSP and the on-site firefighters that he had three drinks before meeting up with a friend at Battle Ground for two more. He told firefighters he thought it was 6 or 7 p.m.
Zarb is currently on bail. His trial is scheduled for September, according to court documents.