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Information in this article, originally published March 22, 2007, was corrected March 24, 2007. A previous version of this story incorrectly described the court-related status of the person driving the car. Trevor M. Gardner, 27, of Tacoma had received a deferred prosecution in connection with a driving under the influence charge from 2005, not a deferred sentence. Additionally, due to incorrect information provided by the Washington State Patrol, a previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Megan Griffin was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. Griffin, 21, was wearing a seatbelt and was not ejected in the crash.
Woman killed, boyfriend arrested in crash on I-5
Seattle Times Eastside bureau
A 21-year-old woman who grew up in Kirkland was killed early Wednesday after the car she was riding in careened into a median barrier, the State Patrol reported.
Megan Griffin died when the southbound 1995 Ford Explorer driven by her boyfriend went off Interstate 5 in Federal Way and hit a median barrier about 2 a.m., according to a State Patrol accident report.
Griffin was wearing a seat belt and was not ejected from the vehicle.
Trevor M. Gardner, 27, of Tacoma, was arrested at the scene and was being held in the King County Jail for investigation of vehicular homicide, according to the Patrol report.
Trooper Jeff Merrill, Patrol spokesman, said alcohol containers were found in the vehicle and officers smelled alcohol on the driver.
The Patrol was pursuing the vehicular-homicide charge because alcohol appeared to be a major factor in the cause of the wreck, Merrill said.
Griffin's older sister talked about Megan on Wednesday as she sat in the Juanita home where the two grew up.
"I want people to know what a good person she was. She was funny and happy, definitely someone people should remember," said Amanda Griffin, 25.
Griffin graduated from Juanita High School in 2003, then attended Central Washington University in Ellensburg before being overcome by homesickness and returning to Kirkland, Amanda Griffin said.
In high school, her sister "had been in every sport," including soccer, baseball and swimming, and, through her church, helped build housing in El Salvador, Amanda Griffin said.
"She loved performing. She loved to sing. She was in all the plays in high school," her sister said.
Griffin and Gardner met about a year ago, her sister said. They lived in Fife and Orting, Pierce County, before moving to Tacoma about three weeks ago.
Griffin died at the scene, the Patrol reported, after the vehicle first went off the roadway to the right, then crossed back over all lanes and struck the median guardrail.
Court records indicate Gardner was charged with driving under the influence Aug. 30, 2005, in Pierce County District Court and received a deferred prosecution with several conditions, including paying an $875 fine, having an ignition interlock fitted to his car to test for alcohol use, attending counseling sessions and victim panels, and being on probation for five years.
By 2006, the court had been told Gardner had failed to comply with several of the conditions, including failure to pay his fine on time.
Gardner made a final payment March 13, and on Tuesday, the day before the accident, the court noted he was in compliance with the terms of his probation.
Seattle Times reporter Brian Alexander contributed to this report.
Peyton Whitely: 206-464-2259 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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