WSP suspects drugs, alcohol in deadly Trent wreck



Posted on August 8, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 8 at 7:00 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. --Washington State Patrol investigators suspect drugs and alcohol were factors in a crash that killed a young woman. It happened yesterday afternoon on Trent and Sargent.

One witness said the driver, 43-year-old Brett Birge, was going at least 20 to 30 miles over the speed limit when he crossed the center line and slammed into another car.

The driver of the other car, 21-year-old Brittany Babinksi, was taken to the hospital where she died.

The Washington State Patrol tells us they have a search warrant to check Birge’s blood. That test will help them determine if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Washington State Patrol knew a black jetta was speeding out of control as they got the call to check out the crash scene.

"When we arrived on scene, we didn't expect to see the Voltz Wagon Jetta but it was the same vehicle that was called in,” Sergeant Lennie Walker with the Washington State Patrol said.

The jetta had already hit and run two different times before getting to Trent. Witnesses on Facebook wrote the driver was seen staggering around in a parking lot. Others on Trent at the time say they heard a loud noise in the distance that they later heard was the crash. Babinski started working at the Northeast Youth Center in April. Co-workers were shocked to hear about the accident.

"At first I got the message she's no longer with us so I didn't know if she was quitting, if something happened and she wasn't going to be with us and it finally sunk in,” Kate Zehner Green, Northeast Youth Center, said.

Co-workers have not had the chance to talk to her family yet, but friends of her parents tell us they were on their way to Florida. They were pulled over by an officer and informed of the crash. They spent the night out of town and are now on their way back to Spokane.

Along with her family and friends, several kids at the youth center are struggling to accept that Babinksi is gone.

"They just loved her, she treated those kids as if they were her own and that's all I could ever ask of anyone that works there,” Green said.

The driver of the black jetta, Brett Birge is in serious condition. Investigators don’t expect him to be released from the hospital for some time.