750-thousand dollars. That’s how much a wrong way driving suspect will have to pay to bond out of jail for Tuesday’s deadly crash that killed a Phoenix Fire Department dispatcher.

39 year old Steven Martin,(pictured) charged with second-degree murder, hung his head in court Wednesday during his initial appearance, as a prosecutor detailed the moments leading to the three vehicle crash on Interstate 17 near Camelback and its tragic aftermath.

The prosecutor told the judge Martin evaded a D-P-S cruiser blocking the freeway to keep him from running into vehicles, but unfortunately, caught up with two vehicles, killing Phoenix Fire Department Dispatcher Megan Lange. Court papers quote Martin repeatedly saying, “I knew I was too drunk to drive.” The prosecutor also says Martin intoxication level measured .313, a level the attorney called, “lethal.”

The prosecutor also says Martin claimed he was driving drunk to rescue his girlfriend from rape. Martin’s attorney went further, saying he was being chased by the person who threatening her.

Martin’s attorney pleaded for leniency on his bond, noting his stable family life and, she says, the lack of a criminal history. But the judge cites Martin’s record showing a previous D-U-I arrest from 2006 and two misdemeanors, including marijuana possession.  The judge deemed him too much of a public risk based on his D-U-I history to justify lowering the bond.

D-P-S Officer Andrew Reed, the one who tried to stop Martin, says he keeps asking himself if he could’ve done more to stop the deadly wreck, but he feels in his heart that, at the moment, he gave it his all. Reed is also saddened the fatality is a fellow first responder, saying that, it’s like losing a family member.

–Barbara Villa