TACOMA, WA – Today Matthew James Haygood, 31, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for striking a family’s vehicle near Spanaway, killing the father. In May, Haygood pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and three counts of vehicular assault.
“This is a particularly horrible example of why drunk driving is so dangerous,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “Mrs. Morose and her children will bear the tragic consequences of Mr. Haygood’s actions for the rest of their lives.”
Haygood was driving his neighbor’s oversized pickup truck on March 7, 2015, when he rear-ended a vehicle in Spanaway. Witnesses said Haygood was swerving and crossing the centerline prior to the crash. Haygood sped away from the scene.
Ten minutes later, Haygood crossed the centerline of SR 507 near East Gate Road and struck an SUV, carrying a family of four, head-on. The father, who was driving, died at the scene. His wife, the front-seat passenger, suffered broken legs and arms, and substantial abdominal and head injuries, including the loss of an eye. Their 12-year-old daughter, who was trapped in the backseat behind her father, underwent emergency surgery to repair severe internal injuries. The other daughter escaped serious injury. Haygood’s truck was fully engulfed in flames when first responders arrived.
Haygood hid in the woods for four hours. When he returned to the scene, he said he had been “wandering around the woods for hours calling for help.” Haygood told officers that he borrowed the truck from a neighbor so he could pick up some wood pallets. He then went to a friend’s house and drank before getting behind the wheel. Toxicology reports show Haygood’s blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit and he had used marijuana.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office