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King County Sheriff
Mitzi Johanknecht

27 Year Old Man Booked For Vehicular Homicide after an Early Morning Accident


A 53-year-old Maple Valley man is dead and a 27-year-old Tacoma Man has been booked into jail for investigation of vehicular homicide after a crash early this morning in the 19300 Blk of Issaquah Hobart Road.


On June 7, 2016, at around 5:40 AM, a King County Sheriff Deputy was on his way to work, driving East on HWY 18 near Maple Valley, when he observed a Black Kia, speeding and swerving in front of him.   On more than one occasion, the deputy observed the vehicle almost cause an accident.


The Deputy, who was driving a fully marked police SUV, activated his lights and sirens to stop this reckless, possible DUI driver.  When he did this, the Kia gave no indication it was going to stop for him.  Instead, the vehicle continued driving eastbound on HWY 18, above the speed limit, and continued to swerve in and out of traffic. 


The Deputy engaged in a very brief pursuit with the vehicle for less than a minute before the pursuit was terminated.  At the time of the pursuit, the Deputy only noticed one person in the suspect vehicle.  When the pursuit was terminated, the Deputy pulled over to the side of HWY 18 and turned off all of his emergency equipment as the suspect vehicle continued traveling East at a high rate of speed.


Other King County Sheriff Deputies who had responded to the area to assist, began returning South, back towards Maple Valley.  As they drove South in the 19300 Blk of Issaquah Hobart road, they came upon a serious, head-on collision involving two cars.  One of them appeared to be the black Kia the deputy had been in a pursuit with approximately 5 minutes earlier.


Deputies attempted to take the suspect driver of the black Kia into custody, but he began fighting with them to the point that a taser was used to get control of him.  Once he was detained, deputies found an infant in the suspect’s car.  The infant was in a car seat and appeared unharmed.  The suspect driver also appeared to have only suffered minor injuries from the crash. 


Citizens had been first on the scene of the accident and in the process of calling 911, estimated that the first Deputy arrived on the scene of the accident 2-3 minutes after they did.  They did not hear or see any deputies chasing the suspect vehicle.


The driver of the victim vehicle, a 53-year-old Maple Valley man, suffered severe injuries and despite efforts by Aid crews that arrived, died at the scene.


The suspect driver, a 27-year-old man from Tacoma was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries and was booked later in the day into the Regional Justice Center for Investigation of Vehicular homicide. 


Issaquah Hobart road was closed for approximately 5 hours while Detectives with the King County Sheriff’s Major Accident Response Reconstruction Team processed the scene.  Early indications are that the suspect vehicle had crossed over the double yellow center line and collided head on with the victim vehicle.  Detectives requested a legal blood draw of the suspect to determine if there were any drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the crash.  Results of that test will not be known for some time.


The relationship between the suspect and the baby in the car is not known at this time.  Hospital staff will be working to find a relative to place the child with.  If one cannot be found, the child will be turned over to CPS.