The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the 72-year-old man who was killed last week after his van was T-boned by a felon fleeing police.
Jerry Robert Bennett died May 24 at the intersection of 44th Avenue West and 212th Street Southwest in Lynnwood when his van was struck by a van driven by a 42-year-old woman who was wanted on two misdemeanor warrants for drug possession and theft, according to police.
Lynnwood police say an officer saw the woman and her 55-year-old male passenger, who was wanted on a felony warrant, about two miles from the collision scene. The woman refused to pull over and sped away, police said. The officer decided to pursue her and the chase lasted about two miles and reached estimate speeds of 60 to 80 miles per hour, police said.
The Lynnwood Police Department’s Pursuit Police say officers must weigh whether a pursuit is warranted, given the suspected crime as well as the potential risks to the public. The collision is being investigated by the department’s accident investigation squad while the pursuit itself will be scrutinized by a Major Incident Review Board which will examine whether the officer followed the department’s policies, regulations and training.
Bennett’s death was the second in less than two weeks in Snohomish County in which a motorist was struck and killed by a driver fleeing from police.
The earlier fatal crash on May 12 when a car driven by Rachael Kamin, 40, of Mukilteo, was struck at an Everett intersection by a man who was fleeing Bothell in a stolen pickup, according to Everett police, who are investigating the incident. Bothell police had called off the pursuit prior to the collision that killed Kamin, police said.
The drivers in both fatal accidents are being held in jail and are likely to face homicide charges, police said.