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Man accused of having sex while driving drunk with baby in car held on $500,000 bail

Michael Tonkin

TACOMA, Wash. (KOMO/SBG) - A Puyallup man, accused of having sex while driving drunk with a 3-month-old baby in the backseat last week, pleaded not guilty to multiple charges in court on Monday.

A judge ordered Michael Tonkin held on $500,000 bail.

He's charged with vehicular assault, reckless endangerment, driving with license suspended and driving without a required interlock device after his car crashed into a tree on State Route 7 near Eatonville on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving.

The State Patrol said he and his female passenger were drunk and having sex while Tonkin was driving when they crashed. Witnesses reported seeing both emerge from the car naked.

"A lot of people thought it was funny," said Washington State Patrol Trooper Brooke Bova. "To us it isn't funny."

Officials said they could have hit someone head-on or they could have gone over the edge of the steep canyon, had it not been for the big tree they hit.

Tonkin, 22, suffered an injured wrist. The 22-year-old female in the car suffered a broken pelvis and had trouble breathing. Her 3-month baby girl in the backseat was unharmed in a car seat.

"When you first hear it you may tend to snicker," said motorist Jud Irish. "But the more you think about it and understand the consequences then it's not anything to snicker about."

The judge definitely wasn't snickering especially when she was told that, if convicted, this would be Tonkin's fourth DUI, which is a felony.

The deputy prosecutor added, "Which includes a pending DUI with blood level of .20."

"I think we've hammered home the 'don't drink and drive' repeatedly," said Trooper Bova. "But now I guess we need to say 'be responsible about your other actions in the vehicle as well.' "

It is not yet known if the woman will be facing any charges with her daughter in the back seat in such a dangerous situation.

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