27-year-old Issaquah man dies in Hobart Road rollover

June 9, 2009

By Kathleen R. Merrill

A 27-year-old Issaquah man died late June 5 near the church where he was baptized when his sport-utility vehicle veered off the road and rolled several times in the 10100 block of Issaquah-Hobart Road.Christopher M. Leslie died at the accident scene from head injuries, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Witnesses who called police after the accident told officers they saw the vehicle moving at high speed and then crash. Officers arrived at the scene at about 11:25 p.m. There were no passengers in the vehicle, a maroon 1999 Subaru Forester.

Flowers adorned a makeshift memorial at the scene, on the east shoulder of Issaquah-Hobart Road, in the days following the accident. Rutted vehicle tracks were visible in the grass nearby. The accident occurred within sight of Foothills Baptist Church, where Leslie was baptized twice.

“He was that guy that everyone liked,” his girlfriend, Shanna Massey, said June 8. “He was very charismatic and good hearted.”

Leslie worked at a moving and storage company with his dad, his sister Diane Orriolo said.

“He’s worked there since he was about 4, since he was big enough to carry anything,” she said.

Leslie lived in Issaquah for most of his life. He attended Maple Hills Elementary, Maywood Middle and Liberty High schools. His last academic year at Liberty was 1996-97, but he graduated in California in 2000.

“He loved fishing, camping and being an uncle to my kids, Ava, 2, and Jefry, 2 months,” Orriolo said.

Police said alcohol and speed appeared to be factors in the accident. The posted speed limit along that stretch of Issaquah-Hobart Road is 35 mph. Obtaining toxicology results — including blood-alcohol content — will take several weeks.

“There was evidence of alcohol consumption in the car,” Issaquah Police Cmdr. Stan Conrad said. 

He said Leslie was not wearing his seat belt.

Massey and Orriolo said they thought others prematurely formed a conclusion about the cause of the crash.

“It’s nobody’s business, and it’s alleged right now,” Orriolo said. “We won’t have toxicology results back for eight to 10 weeks.”

Massey recalled her boyfriend as a careful driver.

“Something drastic had to have happened for him to run off the road,” she said. “I’ve driven with him a lot. He used to coach me about driving, driving on ice, what to do when you see a deer.”

The women also objected to how Leslie was portrayed in several Web posts.

“I think the media is always sensationalizing things,” Massey said. “It hasn’t been fair to the family and friends to say he deserved it. It’s inappropriate and offensive. I think people should keep those things to themselves.”

Issaquah Police are working with the Washington State Patrol to further investigate the crash.

“He died right in front of our church,” Orriolo said. “Everyone has a destiny. You can’t fight death.”

Leslie’s family members said they want people to know who he was, not just how he died.

“We want them to know how much he truly loved life and people,” Orriolo said.

Reach Editor Kathleen R. Merrill at 392-6434, ext. 227, or editor@isspress.com. Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at ext. 234 or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

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10 Responses to “27-year-old Issaquah man dies in Hobart Road rollover”

  1. Jason Erik Travis M.D. on June 9th, 2009 6:23 pm

    He was a good man. If he made a mistake with drink driving it does not mean he deserved to die. Any thoughts about what happened should be kept in your head and not in your mouth. Please let the families have time to process the lose and grieve.


  2. Toxicology » The Truro Daily News, Nova Scotia : Regional News | N.S. medical ... on June 9th, 2009 11:05 pm

    […] 27-year-old Issaquah man dies in Hobart Road rollover : The …Obtaining toxicology results — including blood-alcohol content — will take several weeks. “There was evidence of alcohol consumption in the car,” Issaquah Police Cmdr. Stan Conrad said. He said Leslie was not wearing his seat belt. … […]

  3. tiredofexcuses on June 9th, 2009 11:43 pm

    I feel bad that he died but he could have killed INNOCENT PEOPLE on that two lane road because he was drunk. I’m sorry the family does not want to hear that, but statistically, this guy probably drove drunk hundreds of times before. No one would be feeling sorry for this guy if he’d killed a family of four leaving thechurch that night.

  4. chase luxich on June 11th, 2009 9:52 pm

    The person that said that if he killed a family that no one would feel sorry for him **** you.
    Nobody deserves to die that way.
    Christophers brother david was one of my really good friends when I still lived in issaquah, christopher was always a nice guy to me. I used to love hanging out with him and david. He had the greatest smile and he always made the best out of life, you could tell by the way he lived life. David and I always talked about one day going camping with christopher. Its sad to know we might never do that. One thing I will never forget about him is that he loved subaru’s. Him and david both. Those too were the kind of brothers that fighted rarely and always loved each other.
    I made a promise to christopher that I would get him a usc sweatshirt for his next birthday. It was in january when I promised him that. Sounds like a geeky kind of promise but it meant something to him and it meant something to me.
    I don’t know if I will ever forget him. He is going to be truly missed.
    I am sorry that this happend. He didn’t deserve this he had so much to live for too. He would have made an excellent father, he treated his sisters kids like they were his own.
    I will miss you.

  5. tiredofexcuses on June 12th, 2009 7:44 pm

    Chase– I am sure your friend was a nice guy. But the fact of the matter is that he was driving drunk. Drunk drivers are like a loaded gun. It is a miracle he did not kill anyone else, and your attitude about that is disturbing. And you’re right, no one deserves to die that way and the sad part is that he did it to himself. He was old enough to know better. But my experience with people in your age bracket has shown me that you never take responsibility for anything you do, it is always someone else’s fault. Even when you drive drunk and off yourself.

  6. Joey .O on June 20th, 2009 9:11 pm

    R.I.P chris i will remember you forever man,we had some pretty crazy times,i always like kickin it,your in my prayers,sorry to the family(hi diane if you read this im very sorry)RIP CHRIS

  7. diane leslie orrillo on August 11th, 2009 11:40 pm

    i see you but your not there i here you and there is no sound i feel you but were the **** are you you they say its not the end but it is even if it isn’t so **** you that hate **** you that incrimanate you are mine i love love you my brother forever and ever

  8. auntiecb@hotmail.com on February 23rd, 2010 2:31 am

    glad you had your arrogance on june of 2009…i am still living with the loss of my nephew i can only wish the same respect for you although it will not be from me

  9. Babel on March 21st, 2011 9:58 am

    Well — it will be two years pretty soon — and we will forever miss our adored grandson. He was gorgeous, and precious to us.
    God bless him and keep him. Sooooo many memories … He was special and we will love him forever

  10. Michael Kenyon on December 8th, 2011 11:00 am

    Chris and I were friends back in 1999-2002. I am the guy who talked him into moving back to Washington. We had a falling out because he never apologized to me. But I hope he knows now that I forgive him. And he was a special guy,. He was very cheery. And a lot of fun. He was a bit wild. But so was I. He was my friend. And I am sorry he is gone. I just found out today. And I am saddened I will never get the chance to set things right between us. I know he is up there. Looking down. I know he had his troubles. But all is right now. We are the ones in turmoil. Not him. RIP Chris. This is farewell my old friend.

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