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Posted on Oct 2, 2015

Man facing 9 months in jail for Gorge accident

EPHRATA — The California man who drove through a crowded campground at a Gorge Amphitheatre festival will be sentenced in October.

Tanner Alexander Drayton Williams, 19, pleaded guilty Sept. 9 to vehicular assault and reckless endangerment in the Memorial Day weekend incident, in which he injured four people, three of them seriously.

Grant County prosecutors seek a sentence of nine months’ jail time, to be imposed in an Oct. 12 hearing. The term would include six months in the vehicular assault plea plus 30 days for each count of reckless endangerment.

Williams, of Woodland Hills, California, was arrested May 23 during the four-day Sasquatch! Festival after he drove a friend’s Volkswagen Touareg through the Gorge campground at about 8:55 a.m. The SUV ran over tents with festival attendees still sleeping inside them. Three of the four injured campers were hospitalized, including an Oregon woman who suffered a fractured skull, back and pelvis.

Williams had no alcohol in his blood but admitted to Grant County sheriff’s deputies he’d taken tablets of Ecstasy, eaten psilocybin mushrooms and smoked MDMA in the course of the weekend.

Witnesses said Williams was depressed and reacting badly to the drugs when he put the SUV in gear and drove through the campground, with the vehicle’s owner in the passenger seat trying to stop him. He plowed over seven tents and struck a parked Volkswagen sedan.


— By Jefferson Robbins, Wenatchee World