The man accused of drunk driving that took the life of a Goldendale resident skipped his appearance before a probation officer, leading to a bench warrant for his arrest. The man subsequently turned himself in and spent a weekend in jail.
Klickitat County Prosecuting Attorney David Quesnel filed charges on Jan. 8 against alleged drunk driver Jose Jesus Guzman Franco, 45, of Aumsville, Oregon.
Franco allegedly crossed the center line while driving southbound on SR97 on the evening of Jan. 7, causing a head-on crash that resulted in the death of Goldendale resident Travis Atchley, who was driving home from his job at Fred Meyers in The Dalles. Court records indicate that Franco submitted to a breath test at the scene of the crash with a result of .149; the legal limit in Washington is .08 percent. Blood samples were also taken, with results pending.
Franco was charged with Vehicular Homicide DUI.
Quesnel requested that bail be set at $1 million because the defendant has no ties to this community and had undergone a DUI diversion program in Oregon several years ago. Judge Randall Krogg set the bail amount at $250,000 and ordered that the defendant must use an ignition interlock device. The bail was paid in full with a certified check. Additionally, it was ordered that the defendant sign a Waiver of Extradition.
The defendant violated his Pre-Trial Monitoring agreement by failing to report to Adult Probation upon his release from custody on Jan. 9.
Franco’s trial has been set for June 3 in Superior Court.
Atchley is survived by his wife and young daughter. A crowdfunding website is being used to help raise funds for the family to meet expenses; for more information, visit www.givinggrid.com/itckqr/. Contributions can also be made in person at Columbia Bank in Goldendale.