In light of recent media inquiries regarding pedestrian safety, the Kent Police Department is providing the following information for what the data is in Kent:
In the past two years we have seen 7 fatal car versus pedestrian incidents, 2 in 2017 and 5 in 2018. These incidents and statistics are tragic to all those involved.
- Kent Case #17-6390 – This incident occurred on Pacific Hwy S, where a pedestrian crossed the roadway on a do not walk indicator. One vehicle swerved and another struck and killed the pedestrian. The driver of the vehicle was cooperative and the case was referred to the King County Prosecutors office. At this time, no charges are being recommended as the driver was not at fault.
- Kent Case #17-13698 – This incident occurred in the area of 20800 and 132nd Ave SE. A male was located unresponsive on the side of the road, appearing to have been struck by a vehicle. The vehicle was later discovered away from the scene and investigators learned that the driver had fled to Colorado. Subsequently the driver was extradited from out of state and charged with Vehicular Homicide. The case has been referred to the King County Prosecutors Office.
- Kent Case #18-11204 – This incident occurred around 272nd and Pacific Hwy S. when an erratic driver went up onto the sidewalk, striking and killing the pedestrian. The case was filed with King County and the suspect was charged with Vehicular Homicide. He was later released on bond but other events occurred and a warrant was issued. We subsequently arrested him again on the Vehicular Homicide Warrant with a $750,000 bail.
- Kent Case #18-12861 – An adult female was walking into on-coming traffic in the 4400 block of 212th, when she was struck and killed. No charges were filed as the driver was not at fault.
- Kent Case #18-14820 – Officers responded to 21400 108th Ave SE. Investigation discovered that the female had been chasing her husband with a meat tenderizer during a domestic dispute. The female had walked into the roadway and was struck and killed. Traffic Investigators booked the suspect on Vehicular Homicide, however, there are indications that the victim may have been making a suicide attempt. Investigators are waiting to hear back from the King County prosecutor’s office as to whether charges will be pursued.
- Kent Case #18-16756 – A female was in the crosswalk at the intersection of N State Ave and E Smith St, when she was struck and killed by a turning vehicle. Traffic investigators forwarded all of the information they had to King County but it is expected they will decline the case. The suspect was sober and not on her phone, with no excessive speed or other contributing factors. It appears to be truly a tragic accident.
- Kent Case #18-18303 – This is currently being investigated by detectives because initial reports were that the suspect was shot, fleeing a shooting then struck by fleeing vehicles. The case was sent up to the King County Prosecutors for review and it was formally declined.
Recognizing that pedestrians and motorists each can prevent these types of incidents from occurring by staying diligent in their awareness and being educated on each of their responsibilities, we offer the following reminders.
Pedestrians should always use caution when crossing busy roadways, crossing at intersections or crosswalks when possible, looking both ways before crossing and being alert for cars even if they have the right of way. Electronics such as phones and earphones can cause pedestrians to be unaware of vehicles approaching.
At the same time we want to remind drivers that at uncontrolled intersections where there are not traffic lights, pedestrians have the right of way even if there isn’t a marked crosswalk. Drivers should always be alert for pedestrians and obey posted speed limits. Texting while driving is against the law and a leading cause of collisions.
“The vast majority of collisions, including pedestrian collisions are preventable if motorists and pedestrians exercise good safety precautions and obey traffic laws. We need everyone’s help to reduce and prevent these tragedies.” said Chief Rafael Padilla.
The Kent Police Department partners with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and their Target Zero Program to conduct education and enforcement emphasis focused on distracted driving, DUI, speed, seat belt, and pedestrian safety. We have also partnered with Union Pacific Railroad to conduct enforcement focused on railroad crossing safety.