Originally posted May 1, 2018
James Donald Walker has pleaded guilty to running over two people with his pickup at a Grays Harbor County campground last May, killing Jimmy Smith-Kramer and severely injuring another man.
KOMO reports that Walker of Hoquiam entered the pleas Monday in Superior Court to one charge of second-degree manslaughter, two counts of hit-and-run with injury and two counts of vehicular assault.
Walker is accused of running over two people at the Donkey Creek Campground on May 27, 2017.
20-year-old Jimmy Smith-Kramer of Taholah, died of his injuries. Another 19-year-old Aberdeen man also had critical injuries.
According to GHSO, the truck driven by Walker was reported as driving recklessly and “doing doughnuts” on the Donkey Creek Campgrounds gravel bar near Humptulips.
Following an argument, the man continued driving recklessly, backing over the men and fleeing the scene.
Witness statements to GHSO say that someone threw a rock at the truck, breaking a window, while other witness statements provided to KXRO say that the rock was only thrown after the truck backed over the men.
A statement from the Quinault Nation said that witnesses said the driver was screaming racial slurs when he ran over the two young men, although Undersheriff David Pimentel told The Associated Press that investigators interviewed all the witnesses on the gravel bar, and none mentioned racial slurs. He says he did not believe the crash was racially motivated.
Prosecutor Katie Svoboda chose not to file the incident as a hate crime.