MOUNT VERNON — A mistrial has been declared in the trial of a 23-year-old Sedro-Woolley man accused of vehicular homicide for his role in a 2018 crash after jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict.

Jurors deliberated for one day in the trial of Kevin Michael Solarzano-Hill, who was accused of causing the June 2018 crash that killed 45-year-old Jonathan James Harju.

According to court documents, Solarzano-Hill was driving a BMW west on Minkler Road with Harju and another man in his vehicle when he struck a GMC Sierra pickup attempting to turn left onto Peavey Road in Sedro-Woolley.

Prior to the collision, witnesses told police they saw the BMW traveling at 80-100 mph on Minkler Road, which has a posted speed limit of 55 mph, according to court documents.

The driver of the GMC and the other passenger in Solarzano-Hill’s vehicle were taken to PeaceHealth United General Medical Center for treatment of injuries, according to court documents. Harju died before medical crews could transport him via airlift, prosecutors said.

Solarzano-Hill, who was 20 at the time of the crash, was under the influence of alcohol and driving recklessly when the crash occurred, according to prosecutors.

He testified on his own behalf last week, stating that he had consumed part of one drink that had been poured for him by Harju, a relative of his.

Solarzano-Hill testified that he was not speeding and that, while he had lied to the State Patrol trooper who asked him if he had been drinking, the crash was not his fault and instead was the fault of the driver of the GMC, whom Solarzano-Hill testified pulled out in front of him.

The driver of that vehicle has since died from causes unrelated to the collision.

— Reporter Kera Wanielista: 360-416-2141, kwanielista@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kera_SVH, facebook.com/KeraReports

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(2) comments

Debbie Jo

So many times news reports.... don't report fact filled news and in turn the articles they write are miss information. It is sad that in this day and age we don't have fair and accurate news source. Is it that hard to talk with all involved and report a factual article instead of a made up story!

So disappointing the a small town newspaper wouldn't even try to get an actual account of such a serious accident that has caused long term affects on all involved. I would have expected so much more from Skagit Valley News.

Well said Jerry.... for the accurate account of the events.

Debbie Jo

Win.Jerry

First of all I would think a journalist would report facts not hear say. The story you have written on or reported on is full of non facts. The road Kevin was traveling on was 50mph not 55mph. There was not one witness that saw the accident so how can you report on witnesses said he was doing 80 to 100mph. I sat thru the whole trial and can tell you that the prosecution at best was misleading and full of non truths and the jury saw that. We later found out the jury was 10 to 2 too aquit. The investigator that preformed the accident investigation was un truthful in his reporting. He changed his report 3days before trial because he could not come up with the number he wanted on speed with out adding a set of skid marks he had excluded when he did his original report. He claimed Kevin was going 70mph at impact. But his own data shows he could have been doing 43mph up to 100mph plus. If you were in this same situation and new you were doing 50mph would this not alarm you that there is that much of a difference in his report? But he testified you were doing 70mph. The driver of the pickup had been sitting at the intersection on minkler road and Peavy road for quite a while. The occupants of the BMW were traveling 50mph west bound on minkler. The pickup pulled right in front of them as they were approaching the intersection. Kevin the driver of the BMW had no time to react. The driver of the pickup should have been charged with vehicle homicide not Kevin. It is pretty clear the motive the state patrol had when the came to the scene. You have underage driver that smelt of alcohol. That is all they were concerned about at that point. Not only did they not care about facts the excluded the ones that didn't fit the narrative of what they wanted to charge Kevin for. The alcohol they smelt on Kevin was from a drink that was spilled on him. He was sent to peace health not for checking his injuries he was only there to wait for the state patrol to get a warrant for a blood draw. All other people involved in the accident we brought there to see the extent of injuries. Kevin was not checkout there at all after numerous request from the family. If it was such a high speed crash would you not think he should have been check out like the rest? Kevin is half Mexican and I think that may played a roll in what happened here. After giving is driver license to the office, he was ask by a state patrol officer if he had an id card. Common we know exactly why he was ask a question like that.It was only hours later that he was taken to another hospital in Mt vernon and was checked out before being book into jail. He had a broken wrist and no internal damage thank goodness. The blood draw was not taken in the required two hour window as the prosecuters claim. I am sure there will be transcripts and evidence that will come out after the next trial that you will be able to verify what I am saying here. There is so much of this story that needs to be told but it would be a book if I was to write it. I will end with this case should have never been tried as Kevin being charged with vehicle homicide. At most he should have been charged as a minor that consumed alcohol. The driver of the truck was never sited for any traffic violation and the investigate in this case on interviewed the driver of the truck. Kevin and the other occupant of the BMW that survived were never interviewed. If this doesn't sound like something you would want to experience I would ask you contact the prosecutor and voice your concerns. One day this could happen to a family member of yours. And for the record that no one has reported on the occupant that passed away in the accident was Kevin and the other occupant uncle. All three are from the same family.

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