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Custer man pleads guilty to vehicular homicide from 2018 crash

Whatcom County Courthouse in Bellingham, WA (July 29, 2016). My Ferndale News file photo
Whatcom County Courthouse in Bellingham, WA (July 29, 2016). Whatcom News file photo

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Christopher Alex Lundquist-Gust, age 23, of Custer pled guilty to a charge of vehicular homicide in Whatcom County Superior Court last month.

The charge followed a single-vehicle crash that happened during July 2018 about 2 miles east of Deming on Mount Baker Highway (SR542) that left the female passenger dead.

According to court documents, the vehicle, a white 1999 Volkswagen Beetle, that Lundquist-Gust was driving, struck a guardrail, spun across the lanes of travel and went down an embankment.

Lundquist-Gust had indicated to investigators that an oncoming vehicle had crossed the centerline and he had lost control while avoiding a collision. A defense expert confirmed his account was consistent with reconstruction of the accident dynamics.

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Lundquist-Gust was determined to be legally drunk at the time with a blood alcohol level of 0.12, above the state legal limit of 0.08.

The defense expert estimated the Volkswagen’s speed at 70mph-plus, in excess of the posted speed limit of 55mph.

Lundquist-Gust had a prior malicious mischief conviction and no history of substance abuse according to court documents.

Based on “the youth of the defendant at the time of the accident and the facts of the case,” the court agreed with the defense and prosecutors to an exceptional sentence of 50 months in custody, below the standard range of 78 to 102 months. An 18-month term of community custody was also including in the sentencing.

Lundquist-Gust is also required to pay over $9,735 in restitution to multiple parties and have no contact with the victim’s family members.

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