The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the two people killed Sunday when their red Ferrari crashed into a shuttle bus on Gravelly Lake Drive.
The two were identified as Logan Dane Coffey, a 34-year-old Lakewood resident, and Suzanne Beth Block, a 39-year-old California resident.
Lakewood police have said Coffey was driving the Ferrari south on Gravelly Lake Drive about 12:30 p.m. when the car crossed into the northbound lanes at about the 11600 block and struck a Transpro shuttle.
Coffey and Block died at the scene. Three people on the shuttle were injured and taken to local hospitals for treatment.
Coffey, a former Army sniper, was the president and founder of Tactical Tailor, a Lakewood business that caters to military and law enforcement personnel. The business sells and manufactures durable outdoor wear.
The retail outlet and manufacturing warehouse was closed Monday as employees mourned the loss, the company wrote on its web site.
"We at Tactical Tailor have experienced a great loss," the message stated. "Normal operations will resume tomorrow. Please bear with us."
Military reporter Mike Gilbert talked to two people who knew Coffey and his business on Monday. Find out what they said here.
The News Tribune has twice featured Coffey and his business. Here’s a profile that we published March 6, 2001.
Sewing up a military career
Lakewood man sells his improved versions of U.S.-issued equipment to police, soldiers
By Kim Eckart
Tuesday,March 6, 2001
Early in his U.S. Army career, Logan Coffey learned to sew.
Tired of the discomfort and inefficiency of some of his government-issue equipment, Coffey, then barely 20, began by fashioning a cushioned backpack strap. He bought a small sewing machine and used it to sew on patches and make repairs. He upgraded machines twice more as he added pockets to packs and turned out camouflage “Ghillie” suits for his fellow soldiers at the U.S. Army Sniper School at Fort Benning, Ga.
Over time, there were more upgrades and additions, more orders and products, a burgeoning business out of his bunk. Today, the 27-year-old Coffey is out of the Army and operating his own storefront, mail-order concern and manufacturing house in Lakewood, using the same name he took on as a joke while still a private: the Tactical Tailor.
“Since I was in the military, I know exactly what has to be made and what it has to do,” Coffey said. “Most military equipment was made years ago by the lowest bidder. It’s not durable. It’s not comfortable. It was designed for an older military with older needs.”
Coffey’s collection now includes more than 150 items – rucksacks, vests, weapon slings and other accessories designed to last longer, fit better and hold more than their original counterparts. His customers are individual soldiers and battalions of Rangers, local law enforcement SWAT teams and outdoor gear and surplus stores.
Visit his combination retail outlet and manufacturing warehouse on Lakeview Avenue Southwest and find a line of “Malice” Packs, the modified version of the Army’s ALICE Pack. (“ALICE” stands for “All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment.”)
“Whoever designed (ALICE packs) hasn’t put 50 pounds on their back and walked 20 miles with them,” Coffey said.
The Malice model is made of heavy-duty nylon fabric and features additional zippered pockets in which to place within easy reach a hydration pack, a weapon, or extra ammunition. Quick-release buckles – the kind common on recreational backpacks – replace snaps. Extension straps at the base carry a sleeping bag.
Vests, suitable for hunters or police officers, hold magazines and grenades and offer elastic panels for individual ammunition rounds. The Tactical Tailor filled law enforcement agencies’ orders for more than 200 such vests during the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle in 1999. Rifle slings and holsters, also frequent SWAT team purchases, are designed to enhance mobility and feature a quick-release mechanism that allows the wearer to drop the weapon quickly or move it as needed. The Fort Lewis Rangers supplied suggestions for a fireproof machine-gun barrel bag.
The growing popularity of the Tactical Tailor’s wares among soldiers coincides with the Army’s campaign to field a number of lighter, more easily deployable units. Fort Lewis soldiers are playing a major role in that change.
Capt. J.C. Glick commands C Company of the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, one of the units involved in the transformation.
Items like the Tactical Tailor modular assault vest and the assault pack, Glick said, meet the Army’s new needs. The pack, for example, moves a load off a soldier’s hips and higher onto his back, giving the wearer more flexibility.
“We want the soldier, because he has a demanding job, to be outfitted as much like an athlete as possible,” Glick said. “Soldiers buy (Tactical Tailor equipment) because it works better for what we’re doing – we’re becoming a more mobile, more lethal force.”
What the Army doesn’t give them, however, soldiers must buy with their own money. And while soldiers such as Glick have suggested to top brass that some of the Lakewood-made gear be standard-issue throughout the military, for now, soldiers are buying much of it on their own.
Glick estimates half the 179 soldiers under his command buy from Coffey. “I have one soldier who doesn’t own anything the Army gave him. It’s all Tactical Tailor stuff,” Glick said.
The Ghillie suit, a camouflage outfit that includes a headdress-like mane of “brush,” is intended to replace the government-issue version. While the GI version includes glued-on burlap strips, Tactical Tailor’s strips are sewed on, Coffey explained. The Army’s Sniper School has asked about ordering 600 of the suits, Coffey said.
Helping fill these orders are six other employees, five of whom work full time. Coffey devises the patterns and instructs his crew chief in the execution. The chief helps assemble the garments, along with the remaining sewers. Another employee handles the mostly custom-order sales. Basic items, such as cloth badge covers or foam-rubber straps, comprise much of the inventory.
To fill orders within his promised 30 days, Coffey contracts out the manufacture of high-volume items, such as the rucksacks and straps, which are also used to modify existing backpacks that customers send in.
From here, Coffey hopes to expand into the outdoor recreation market, to find more dealers and of course, sell more of his products. In the past year, sales have tripled, Coffey said. The trick will be to expand at an adjustable pace. Too many orders, and a 30-day turnaround time becomes impossible.
Coffey would not reveal his financial results, but said his company is profitable.
Just this month, Coffey finished a new plastic clip, targeted toward replacing the metal ALICE clip used to attach canteens to the pack – another leftover from Coffey’s Army days that he was bent on fixing.
Coffey’s first sewing machine hangs suspended from the wall; a sign hanging from it reads: “The founder of the company.” He remembers taking some heat from fellow soldiers for sewing, at least “until they needed me to fix something.”
A career in garment manufacturing was never in the New Mexico native’s mind. But when it came time to re-enlist about four years ago, Coffey decided to take a chance.
“I had a really good feeling about this,” he said.
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* Staff writer Kim Eckart covers business. Reach her at 253-597-8785 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Business: Tactical Tailor.
Location: 10203 Lakeview Ave. S.W., Lakewood. 253-984-7854.
Founder: Logan Coffey.
Products: Military and police load-bearing gear, camouflage suits, weapon slings and related equipment.
Philosophy: “Since I was in the military, I know exactly what has to be made and what it has to do.”