TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Jason Tamayo, 44, with vehicular homicide for hitting and killing Mark Nigh, 56, with his vehicle in downtown Tacoma last week. He is also charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance for methamphetamine that was found in his sock. The defendant is scheduled to be arraigned today at 1:30pm in room 270 of the County-City Building in Tacoma.
“This is another horrible illustration of why drugs and driving don’t mix,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.
On May 23, Nigh and his adult son were delivering glass to an apartment building near Commerce and South Seventh Streets. As Nigh was loading his tools into the back of his work truck, the defendant’s jeep slammed into him, pinning him and severing his legs. He was transported to the hospital, but died two days later. Witnesses said the defendant was speeding, ran a stop sign and swerved into oncoming lanes to pass two cars immediately prior to striking Nigh.
The defendant was also transported to the hospital for treatment. When paramedics removed his socks, they found a small plastic bag of methamphetamine stuck to his leg. The defendant denied knowing what the substance was. He was evaluated for possible drug impairment. Officers noted he had an elevated blood pressure and pulse, his pupils were dilated in normal room lighting, and he had a difficult time concentrating and answering simple questions.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office