The Kent Police Department on Thursday (Feb. 21) updated a prior news release on a serious injury crash that occurred Saturday, Feb. 2:
We are saddened to learn that the woman who fled from police following attempting to commit fraud at the Safeway on Washington Avenue in Kent has died from the injuries she sustained in the crash that followed.
“The fact that she took reckless actions that resulted in her death does not change the fact that her family has suffered the loss of a loved one. The loss of her life is a tragedy and we humbly offer our condolences to her family.” Chief Rafael Padilla commented.
Kent Officers responded to a 911 call of a 32 year old female using a stolen identification card and attempting to cash a fraudulent check, at the Safeway store. The female drove away as officers arrived at the store. Officers located her a short time later and attempted to pull her over. She quickly accelerated and a pursuit ensued.
Officers took action to get the female’s vehicle stopped, including deploying spike strips and trying to position for a pursuit intervention technique (PIT), but she maneuvered around the spike strips and took to driving erratically to avoid being stopped.
While the female continued to flee west on S 212th Street, she cut across the center divider lines and drove into oncoming traffic, colliding with another vehicle head-on.
Officers immediately provided life-saving efforts, including attempting to use an AED until Medics arrived to stabilize the female and transport her to Harborview Medical Center. They also rendered aid to the male driver whose vehicle was struck head-on. At the same time, officers worked quickly to extinguish a fire that had ignited on the female’s vehicle. The male who was in the other vehicle is in stable condition with serious injuries.
Once the female identity was later confirmed, officers learned that she had an outstanding $100,000 felony warrant for the crime of Robbery. Additionally, it was discovered that Kent Officers had arrested her a week prior. In that incident Kent Officers successfully executed a PIT and stopped her vehicle. She was arrested and charged for driving under the influence of alcohol and or drugs and failure to comply. She was not injured in that incident.
The Kent Police Command staff has reviewed the incident as is standard procedure with all pursuits. The review of the information determined that the actions of the officers involved in the apprehension of the female were consistent with state law and department policy. The estimated top speeds of the vehicle driven by the female reached 64 MPH, but were well below that for most of the pursuit. Additionally, because it was relatively early on Saturday morning, traffic was light and the roads were bare and dry.
“Our officers face these type of difficult circumstances on a daily basis and the majority of the time the outcome is that suspects follow officer orders and are taken into custody safely. Officers swear an oath to uphold the laws of our state and protect the public and that’s what they were doing. It is unfortunate that the female’s decisions in this incident led to her death. Nobody wanted this heartbreaking outcome.” said Chief Padilla.