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Trial postponed for alleged drunk driver
PORT ORCHARD — A 33-year-old North Kitsap man charged with vehicular homicide in the death of Port Orchard resident Jessica Z. Torres won’t stand trial until next year, according to Kitsap County Superior Court documents.
Stephen T. Harvey Jr., who was allegedly driving while under the influence of both alcohol and drugs, will not go to trial until Feb. 2, 13 months after the crash that killed the 34-year-old mother of two.
His trial was originally scheduled to begin Nov. 17, and if convicted, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Torres was killed as she drove home from her office in Poulsbo the evening of Jan 21.
Investigators from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office reported Harvey was driving a 2001 Volkswagen Passat at around 5:30 p.m. on the 22600 block of Clear Creek Road. He veered first onto the northbound shoulder, then over corrected and drove into the opposite lane of traffic.
Harvey then collided with Torres, who was driving a 2000 Mazda Protege. Her vehicle was pushed back 30 feet, then continued another 70 feet and hit two trees before stopping.
By the time it stopped, Harvey’s vehicle had lost “most of its front end, motor, transmission and entire front passenger side tire assembly,” and the “instrument cluster was ejected.”
Investigators were unable to determine the exact speed Harvey’s vehicle was traveling when it struck Torres’ car, but the Passat’s speedometer was reportedly stuck at 75 mph. Deputies determined the vehicle “lost 44 mph prior to impact.”
Torres was critically injured and died at the scene. Harvey was taken to Harrison Medical Center and treated and released.
No occupants other than the drivers were in the vehicles.
Following his release from Harrison, Harvey was arrested and booked into the Kitsap County Jail on suspicion of vehicular homicide and held on $100,000 bail.
He made a preliminary appearance in Kitsap County Superior Court shortly after the crash, but was not formally arraigned until late this summer.
The first deputy who contacted Harvey detected “an odor of intoxicants.” A blood test reportedly revealed Harvey was above the legal limit for alcohol content and detected marijuana, as well.
Deputies also reportedly found an open and “half-empty,” 1.75-liter bottle of Jim Beam Black whiskey in Harvey’s vehicle.
Kitsap Deputy Prosecutor Andy Anderson said in June the details surrounding the Jan. 21 accident “turned out to be more complicated than we anticipated.”