Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force will dedicate a DUI emphasis patrol this weekend in honor of Quinnton Dimmitt. The 17-year-old Franklin Pierce High School student was killed by an impaired driver April 25, 2014, as he drove to buy a coffee for his mother.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department will conduct the emphasis patrol in east Pierce County on Saturday – exactly a year after Dimmitt was struck and killed at the intersection of Waller Road and east 84th Street. The driver, 26-year-old Miquel Argueta, was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana and travelling over 90 miles per hour.
Argueta, who had slurred speech and smelled of alcohol after the crash, told deputies he did not know what road he was on or which direction he’d been going. His blood-alcohol level seven hours after the crash was .064, but was projected to have been between .16 and .20 at the time of the crash – two to three times over the legal limit.
“People with blood-alcohol levels of .15 or higher are 12 times more likely to crash,” said Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor. “Add excessive speed and marijuana to the mix and you’ve got the potential for a terrible outcome.”
Dimmitt’s father, Michael Dimmitt, says it was an outcome that could have been avoided had Argueta never gotten behind the wheel that morning. Michael Dimmitt added that while every father and mother believes their child is special, Quinnton truly was.
A counselor at Franklin Pierce High School remembered Quinnton as the “go-to” guy, the person to whom friends turned when things weren’t going their way, adding that Quinnton was very good at being there for others.
After attending the Task Force-sponsored dedication in Quinnton’s memory, members of the Dimmitt family will be riding along with officers as they patrol and hand out memorial flyers to motorists.
“We plan to take to heart the senior quote Quinnton provided to yearbook staff: ‘You only live once; make it worth it!’,” said John Cheesman, Chairman of the Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force and Chief of the Fircrest Police Department. “We will be asking motorists Saturday night to allow others to live full, worthwhile lives by never drinking or drugging and driving.”
Following the dedication, thirty officers, deputies and troopers from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Washington State Patrol and the University Place, Lakewood, Gig Harbor, Fircrest, Dupont, Tacoma, Sumner, Bonney Lake, Steilacoom and Puyallup Police Departments will be patrolling the area where Quinnton was killed. The event begins at 8:00 PM at the Parkland-Spanaway office of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.
Members of the Dimmitt family will be available for interview and members of the media are invited to ride along with officers Saturday evening.
Gloria Mansfield Averill, Pierce County Community Connections