Vehicular-homicide charge filed in crash that killed 2

Brian Christianson has endured the recurring nightmare of the March morning when he found his daughter, Alina, 20, and her best friend, Jason Carney, dead in a traffic collision.

The Bothell man and his family say they've known who police think crashed into Carney's car, but say they've waited patiently for an arrest.

Yesterday, eight months after the crash, Jesse Jay Henderson, 19, was charged in Snohomish County Superior Court with vehicular homicide and hit-and-run involving a death. Henderson is accused of driving at speeds nearing 75 mph when his vehicle hit Carney's car.

Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor Joan Cavagnaro said it took eight months to file charges because of the case's complexities.

Brian Christianson was driving on 180th Street Southeast in Snohomish County on March 3 about 1:15 a.m. when he heard a noise and saw a crash in his rearview mirror. He was driving to Carney's house to pick up his daughter, who was visiting Carney, 19.

Christianson turned around to the crash site. He saw two cars. One was an empty Mitsubishi Eclipse; the other a 1989 Chevrolet Cavalier so smashed he couldn't tell there was a man behind the wheel. He did see a woman passenger and knew, even in the dark, she was dead.

Christianson told police he saw a man walking away from the cars, according to charging papers. When Christianson asked about the accident, the man said, "What accident?" and kept walking.

Christianson went to a nearby house and asked the occupants to call 911. It wasn't until an hour later that he learned his daughter and the son of a family friend had died.

Police said they found an empty beer bottle in Henderson's car, which smelled of alcohol. When police showed up at Henderson's Snohomish house seven hours after the crash, they said, Henderson had a forehead injury and other cuts and scratches, which he told police he'd gotten in a fight two days earlier.

Alina Christianson is the second person in the family to die in a car crash. Eleven years ago, the couple's only son, Andrew, died in a car accident at age 15.

Jennifer Sullivan: 425-783-0604