Accident involving Cowlitz casino developer tied to drugsTuesday, April 13, 2010
An accident that seriously injured David Barnett, a member of the Cowlitz Tribe of Washington who is helping his tribe develop a gaming facility, was linked to drug use, The Columbian reports.
Barnett, 49, was injured when he was ejected from his pickup truck on November 16, 2009. The incident occurred just a few blocks from his home.
The driver of the truck was Sarah S. Rutyne, 36, Barnett's girlfriend at the time. She was arrested on suspicion of vehicular assault but has not been charged.
Police reports obtained by the paper said Rutyne admitted to using crack cocaine and methamphetamine with Barnett prior to the accident. Rutyne also said she had been using prescription drugs.
Barnettt bought the land where the tribe wants to build the Cowlitz Casino Resort. He owns a percentage of the partnership that will operate the casino.
Barnett is the son of the late John Barnett, who led the tribe for more than 20 years. John Barnett died in 2008.