The Washington State Patrol (WSP) is looking for anyone who may have witnessed a vehicle that might have lost part of its driveline, triggering a deadly accident on SR 18 Wednesday evening, December 13th. The accident and ensuing investigation closed SR 18 over Tiger Mountain for nearly five hours.
The crash occurred at 4:47PM. Police say witnesses stated that a Ford Focus was traveling eastbound when it struck a driveline that was in the roadway, causing it to slide broadside into the westbound lanes. A SUV that was traveling westbound subsequently struck the passenger side of the Ford, which sustained significant damage and resulted in the death of a 57-year old Federal Way woman. A Covington woman driving the SUV also suffered serious injuries.
According to a WSP press release, based on the evidence from the scene and witnesses, detectives believe there is a strong possibility that the driveline was lost from a semi-tractor that was being towed using the “piggyback” method by another semi-tractor. Experts say it is common for a semi being towed in this manner to have one end of the driveline disconnected and secured to make the driveline inactive.
The press release also stated that evidence from the scene showed a straight patter of gouges up to a certain point at which time they veered from the westbound to the eastbound lanes where either it struck, or was struck, by the Ford Focus.
WSP detectives are seeking any information to include dash cam video, including video from commercial motor vehicles traveling through the area between 4:15PM and 5PM on December 13, 2017. They say this would be an integral part in identifying the vehicle that lost this driveline.
In addition, if any individual has come to realize they lost this driveline, you are also requested to contact the WSP. Please contact Detective Brody Ford at (425) 401-7742 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.