Washington State Patrol seeks witnesses to Bellevue pileup

July 27, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6 p.m. July 27, 2011

Washington State Patrol investigators have put out a call for witnesses to the deadly July 20 pileup along Interstate 90 in Bellevue.

The crash left a 9-year-old Issaquah girl dead and injured numerous other motorists, including a handful of Issaquah residents. Investigators asked for witnesses to call Detective Greg Wilcoxson at 360-805-1195 or Detective Jeff Maijala at 401-7742.

Just before 8 a.m. July 20, as traffic slowed due to congestion near the Interstate 405 interchange at 133rd Avenue Southeast, authorities said a tractor-trailer jackknifed into a logging truck in the adjacent lane. The impact dislodged the rear axle of the logging truck and sent the piece hurtling into traffic.

Rachel Beckwith, 9, sustained severe head and spinal injuries in the crash and died July 23.

In the days after she died, thousands of donors sought to honor her generous spirit.

Last month, Rachel had been inspired by a church fundraiser for Charity:Water, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing clean drinking water to people in developing nations.

In June, she planned to raise $300 for Charity:Water to celebrate her birthday. But Rachel missed the $300 target by $80. Undeterred, she planned to donate more next year.

In the days after the crash, leaders at Rachel’s church asked Charity:Water to reactive her fundraising page as a tribute, and donors had contributed more than $460,000 by late Tuesday afternoon.

Rachel’s mother, Samantha Paul, thanked donors for offering hope amid the despair.

“I am in awe of the overwhelming love to take my daughters dream and make it a reality,” she wrote in a post to the Charity:Water website. “In the face of unexplainable pain you have provided undeniable hope. Thank you for your generosity!  I know Rachel is smiling!”

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One Response to “Washington State Patrol seeks witnesses to Bellevue pileup”

  1. SeattleCitizen2 on July 28th, 2011 5:38 am

    Rachel was a kind, gentle, helpful, little girl that always put others first. Thank you all for making sure her legacy will honor her life. Thank you for showing your love and support to this family in their time of tremendous sorrow. Knowing people are praying for them and caring about Rachel’s cause is a balm for the aching space that use to be their hearts.

    Rachel has four siblings.

    Having to explain to her four year old, two 3 year old (twins), and two year old siblings that the light of their life is never coming back to love on them, is enough to make a sane person crazy. With time, love, tenderness, and prayer everyone will be okay. These are amazing people who respect and love children. Please pray for their current and future mental and physical health. Thanks again.

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