The Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Dean Ryan Jones of Gig Harbor, 42, with vehicular homicide in December for his role in a collision that killed a Key Peninsula woman last May. He was also charged with failure to have an ignition interlock device, reckless endangerment, and driving with a suspended license.
Jones was behind the wheel of his Chevrolet Silverado May 22 when his truck allegedly crossed the centerline and crashed head-on into a Ford Focus occupied by two women on the KP Highway north of Key Center.
The driver, Marcia “Marcy” Coefer Sparks of Longbranch, died at the scene. She was 62. The passenger was her eldest daughter, Ashley Sparks, who escaped with minor injuries. Jones was treated for a broken ankle.
According to charging papers, two witnesses said Jones had been driving erratically prior to the crash, but didn’t see it happen. Jones told a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy that his truck had “steering issues” and he was on his way to a friend’s house in Key Center to get it fixed.
His driver’s license was suspended at the time from a driving under the influence case and he was supposed to have had an ignition interlock on his vehicle, according to the charging papers. He told the deputy he thought the order had expired. Jones did not appear intoxicated at the scene, and a breath test showed no alcohol in his system.
Jones was arrested in Kitsap County December 5 for second degree assault after a failure to appear in court, according to Kitsap County Jail records, where he remained without bail at press time. A bench warrant for a second failure to appear in Pierce County Superior Court to respond to the new charges was issued December 27, according to Pierce County records.
Marcy Sparks worked as a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in Federal Way from 1981 until her retirement in 2015. She moved to Longbranch in 2016 where she was raising her granddaughter. She twice survived breast cancer, and was an active volunteer in the community.
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