Motorcyclist tumbles off I-90 overpass while eluding police
August 12, 2014
By Peter Clark
A motorcyclist suffered severe injuries Aug. 6, after vaulting over the Interstate 90 Highlands Drive exit overpass into the east fork of Issaquah Creek below.
A Washington State Patrol trooper clocked two motorcycles over the speed limit heading eastbound on I-90 and initiated a traffic stop, according to Trooper Karim Boukabou.
“A trooper was working general traffic and saw the two motorcycles accelerate at a big rate,” he said. “They were going about 22 miles over the speed limit.”
He said a blue motorcycle sped up to 130-140 miles per hour, while a yellow Ducati 749 did not flee as quickly.
“They were passing traffic on the shoulder, fleeing the trooper, and exited on the Highlands Drive exit,” Boukabou said. “The yellow one wasn’t as fast.”
He said the driver, Jeffery Kimmel, 22, of Newcastle, hit the exit barrier near the top of the ramp and fell over the side — a 68-foot drop.
“I still haven’t been able to confirm whether he was in the water or not,” Boukabou said.
The trooper stopped pursuit of the blue motorcycle because it began dangerously swerving around traffic, Boukabou said, and the rider got away.
Eastside Fire & Rescue responded and posted on its Twitter account that the rider had multiple injuries and was taken to Harborview Medical Center. A Harborview spokeswoman said Aug. 11 that Kimmel was in satisfactory condition.
Boukabou said it remained unclear why the motorcycles sped away from the trooper. Boukabou said Kimmel had no motorcycle endorsement for his license, which may have contributed to his reaction.
Kimmel will at least be charged with attempting to elude a trooper, a felony, according to a Washington State Patrol press release.
“The incident’s still under investigation,” Boukabou said. “A lot of people don’t run from a traffic citation.”