Vehicular Assault Suspect Appears Before Judge
A man suspected of running down two boys on their way to school yesterday, makes his first court appearance this afternoon---while the life of one of the boys hangs in the balance.
32 year old Benjamin McKenzie mades his first court appearance before a judge today.
McKenzie was arrested yesterday morning after allegedly striking 10 and 11 year old boys with his car and dragging them 80 feet
A short time earlier, 27-year-old Abel Sanchez sorts through pictures of those boys --- his younger brothers, while fighting back the anger he felt when McKenzie stepped out of his car.
"He was just walking around like nothing happened; like he didn't care. He didn't apologize, or he didn't bother to call 911, he was just walking around like nothing happened," said Sanchez.
His brother's, 11-year old Israel Sanchez (picture), and 10-year-old Chris Sanchez (picture), were waiting at a bus stop around 8 am near the corner of West King Street and Rock Avenue, when McKenzie turned a corner and struck both boys.
Israel was taken to Yakima Memorial to be treated for several broken bones, but is expected to be released by tomorrow.
However, 10-year-old Chris suffered multiple fractures to his legs, ribs, and collar bone, and is currently in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
McKenzie is charged with two counts of vehicular assault and was found to be driving while under the influence of a controlled substance.
Police tell us he has a history of drug problems.
"He has at least one prior drug arrest, and went to through the court system and the probation system. And this guy has obviously fallen back and is having problems with drugs and drug abuse," said officer Shawn Boyle.
Abel Sanchez says he hopes justice will be served, but for now, he will concentrate his prayers on Israel and Chris' recoveries.
"I know they'll pull through, especially the little guy, he's pretty strong. He's always been physically strong for his age," said Sanchez
McKenzie is being held on a 500 thousand dollar bail.
He will be arraigned in two weeks.