Abdon sentenced to 6.5 years for vehicular homicide

Tucker Samms Abdon, 34, of Eastsound, was sentenced by Judge Kathryn C. Loring in San Juan County Superior Court to 78 months in prison for vehicular homicide on Friday, July 26.

At the end of sentencing, Abdon was taken into custody.

In October 2018, Abdon was charged with one count of vehicular homicide in the death of Rachel B. Gibson, 32. He pleaded not guilty during an arraignment on Oct. 22. Abdon changed his plea of not-guilty to guilty of vehicular homicide on July 10.

Though Abdon maintains his innocence, he agreed to take an Alford plea, which means he recognizes that the state had enough evidence to charge him of a crime. The second charge of reckless driving was dropped as part of his plea change. He cannot appeal an Alford plea.

The state requested 78 months incarceration, the minimum allowed prison sentencing for the crime, followed by 18 months probation and payment of fines. A restitution hearing is scheduled for Sept. 30.

The fines requested by the state include $100 to the crime lab; a $100 DNA fee; $500 for crime victim assessment; $1,807.20 to Orcas Island Fire and Rescue; $6,170 for Gibson’s burial; $31,830 to Airlift Northwest (at time of memorandum, the state was awaiting reimbursement from the Crime Victims Compensation fund); and $90,349.19 to Harborview Medical Center.

The standard range of confinement for vehicular homicide is 78-102 months with a maximum term of life and/or a fine of $50,000. Abdon is represented by Dennis Rollin Scott of Anacortes and has no previous criminal history.

Case details

At about 11:39 p.m., on Wednesday, Sept. 5, a vehicle traveling on Orcas Road at Nordstrom Lane left the roadway and struck a tree. The passenger side door and wheel had been torn off from the vehicle. Abdon was located inside the vehicle, where he allegedly told the deputy that he had been driving and had “killed his best friend.” EMS personnel located Gibson partially pinned under the vehicle, she sustained life-threatening injuries.

Abdon was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham. According to the state’s sentencing memorandum, Abdon’s blood alcohol level immediately following the crash was 0.13 g/100mL and his THC level was 2.3 ng/mL. Washington state law says that driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 g/100mL is drunk driving; and a THC level of 5 ng/mL or higher is intoxication.

Gibson was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where she died from her injuries sustained in the wreck on Sept. 7.

During his interview with a detective, Abdon said he had been drinking at a local bar, where he consumed whiskey and beer. According to court documents, surveillance footage and witness statements corroborate his statements and timeline.