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Disaster and Accident

Charged with homicide

Shelton-Mason County Journal of Shelton, Washington

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Police say Burke was driving under the influence

A Shelton man accused of being behind the wheel of a car involved in a fatal crash on May 15 is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Mason County Superior Court.

Dylan J. Burke, 24, is charged with one Class A felony county of vehicle homicide and two Class B felony counts of vehicular assault.

Burke turned himself in to the Mason County Sheriffs Office two days after the incident. He appeared before Judge Tony A. Sheldon and conditional bail was set at $100,000.

As of Wednesday morning, Burke remained confined at the Mason County Jail.

According to court documents, Burke was under the influence of alcohol while operating a 2003 Mercedes registered to 38-year-old Terra K. Dittmer, a lifelong Shelton resident.

Dittmer was killed in the single-vehicle crash, which occurred shortly after midnight on May 15.

Two other passengers, Jason J. Brown, 31, and Cody R. Laney, 21, were injured in the crash, which Mason County Sheriffs Office investigators said occurred when Burke lost control of the vehicle, left the roadway and struck a tree.

In a statement of probable cause filed by the Ma-, son County Sheriffs Office, investigators found that "Burke lost control of the vehicle at the intersection of East Mason Lake Road and East Mikkelsen Road."

Witness statements, including Brown's, alleged that Burke "lost control of the vehicle ... and struck a tree."

Court documents show that a legal blood draw was taken of Burke, who was the group's designated driver, and that his blood alcohol content met or exceeded the state's legal limit of 0.08.

Laney suffered a broken leg and internal bleeding and was airlifted to Harbor-view Medical Center in Seattle for medical treatment.

Brown and Burke both were treated for injuries sustained in the crash at Mason General Hospital and released. Burke later turned himself in.

Authorities have said the group of four was celebrating Laney's 21st birthday at the Towne Pub in Shelton.

If convicted, Burke faces a maximum of life imprisonment and/or a $50,000 fine on the Class A felony. On each of the Class B felonies, Burke could be sentenced to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of $20,000, upon conviction.

Copyright 2012 Shelton-Mason County Journal, Shelton, Washington. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: May 24, 2012

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