Covington man dies in crash near Issaquah

April 26, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

Police blamed reckless driving for a fatal crash near Issaquah late last week.

The three-vehicle accident on state Route 18 near Issaquah left a 36-year-old Covington man dead April 23 and prompted detectives to launch investigations into possible vehicular assault and vehicular homicide.

Troopers blocked traffic near the mangled vehicles along state Route 18 after a deadly crash April 23. By Washington State Patrol

Washington State Patrol investigators said the incident started as motorists in a red Ford Probe and a green Toyota Celica drove in a reckless manner in the westbound lanes at about 5 p.m. Then, just east of the Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast exit, police said the driver of the Celica, a 26-year-old Pullman man, attempted to pass traffic on the right road shoulder.

The driver lost control of the Celica, traveled across all highway lanes and struck a maroon Honda Pilot heading east.

The driver of the Probe, a 39-year-old Tacoma man, lost control. The vehicle rolled onto the shoulder and came to rest upside down.

Eastside Fire & Rescue medics transported the driver of the Pilot, Trung Ngo, and his passenger, wife Cheuk Chann, 37, to Harborview Medical Center with serious injuries. Ngo died at the hospital after 9 p.m. Chann has been released from Harborview and is expected to survive.

The driver of the Celica also sustained serious injuries and had to be transported to Harborview. Police said the driver of the Probe and a passenger in that car also suffered injuries.

Troopers arrested the Celica and Probe drivers after the accident. Investigators continue to seek witnesses to determine the reason both drivers started driving recklessly.

“That’s exactly what we’re trying to determine through witness reports and also through interviews with them, to see if they were acting out in some aggression or if it was a matter of they were making bad choices on the roadway,” state patrol spokeswoman Trooper Julie Startup said. “Some people, honestly, just drive that way.”

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

How to help

Investigators ask accident witnesses to call Washington State Patrol Detective Ruth Medeiros at 401-7719.

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