BREMERTON — Margaret Kelli Parnell, widely known among her friends as “Maggie Hen,” was waiting at a bus stop at 11:49 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 8 at Auto Center Way when a car suddenly smashed into the bus stop. The careening vehicle caused mortal injuries to Parnell and severe leg injuries to a 63-year-old Bremerton man also waiting at the stop.
When police and medics arrived at the scene, 23-year-old Calob Courtney was smoking a cigarette as he waiting for police to arrive.
“I hit those people,” he said to Bremerton police officers.
A police officer specially trained in detecting drug use reported that Courtney had a blood alcohol level of .08 through a test administered more than two hours after the crash, right at the legal limit. He also tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana. Courtney admitted to police he had smoked both meth and marijuana before the crash.
Immediately after the crash, Parnell was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, but died en route.
The other victim, a 63-year-old Bremerton man, underwent surgery for severe leg injuries at St. Thomas Medical Center in Tacoma. He remained in critical condition three days after the accident.
Parnell leaves behind two children, Malachi, 5, and Charlie, 2; her boyfriend, Tom Williamson; her father, Charlie E. Parnell and mother, Robin Parnell; and brothers Charles Parnell and Frankie Rose.
For her wide group of family and friends, the loss was deeply felt. She earned the affectionate nickname “Maggie Hen” for her unending willingness to give help to people in need, whether total strangers or close friends. She had gone through a difficult period, her friends said, including a stint of homelessness even as she supported her two kids, but recently things had begun to settle down. She would help anyone in need if she was humanly able, they added.