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UPDATED: Young man killed in crash near Point Defiance Park identified

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on May 25, 2010 at 6:04 am with 27 Comments »
May 25, 2010 1:39 pm

An 18-year-old man was killed and two others injured late Monday in a high-speed crash in Tacoma’s West End.

The two injured young men were taken to Tacoma General Hospital for treatment, Tacoma police spokesman Mark Fulghum said. Their conditions were unknown this morning.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the dead man as Igor Kotelevskiy of Tacoma.

The crash occurred just after 10:15 p.m. in the 4600 block of North Vassault Street. A dark-colored Audi was speeding north on North Vassault Street. When it came over the hill in the 4600 block, the car appeared to have lost control, Fulghum said.

The car drifted across the roadway and struck a parked pickup truck. The Audi rolled, went over a curb, through a brushy area and stopped in the yard of a house, Fulghum said.

Two of the three men inside the car were ejected. Kotelevskiy, who was ejected, died at the scene. The initial investigation indicates he had been driving the car.

The third man had been buckled into his seat and remained in the car, Fulghum said. He appears to be the least seriously injured of the two survivors.

Police investigators were looking into what caused the crash. Speed was “definitely a contributing factor” but it was not known if alcohol or drugs were involved, Fulghum said.

“Speed was definitely excessive,” he added.


Leave a comment Comments → 27
  1. Here we go again, yet another incident on the WEST END that the Trib wants to put in another neighborhood. The TNT staff must be transplants! HAAA

    Back to topic….I’ve got five bucks says it was excessive speed and no seat belts

    Gee come to think of it, that IS a THIRTY MILE PER HOUR zone through there. Nah!! No one in Tacoma SPEEDS!

    Once again, forget cameras, install TIRE SHREDDERS.

  2. I’m gonna bet there will be fifty plus comments about what a great kid this was, and barely a couple recognizing the need to instill RESPONSIBILITY and CONSEQUENCES in kids.

  3. Haaa WOW! That was fast work Trib!! I barely get two comments in and the location magically changed!! Good work! ;)

  4. lgcnelson84 says:

    Dcr628 – Pretty sure the death of someone’s child is the ultimate consequence for one’s apparent lack of responsibility. This was someone’s kid, and his family and friends probably did consider him to be a great kid, so please have some respect.

  5. Sympathy for a tragic event should be universal, and silent, while the outcry of condemnation should be loud and public.

    Only when people regularly see and hear that certain behaviors are not acceptable, and they and their actors are repugnant to society’s well-being and will be repudiated, will bad behavior and all apologists for them be diminished. Silence begets acquiescence that begets acceptance.

  6. That accident was literally around the corner from my house. Basically at the end of the block. I was standing in my kitchen at that time and the sound I heard was a loud whistle followed by a really loud crash. I actually thought it was some sort of explosion, like a house blowing up. We went and checked it out immediately, and the kid who died was stuck in a tree, the other kid was hanging outside the car. The battery from the parked pick up was about thirty feet down the street from it, and it was completely destroyed. The Audi was up on the lawn of a house which had to been eight feet from the sidewalk. I have never seen a car that damaged before. When I drove past it this morning, you could still see the skid marks. The scene of the accident was a really steep hill, and my guess on the speed had to be over 100 mph.

  7. federalwaydad says:

    i believe you get what you deserve, actions have consequences. i am willing to bet that this driver and the occupants have had some education about driving responsibly and why. they chose to put themselves vulnerable to the consequences that speeding can bring. although death is sad, it is a part of life and it is sometimes a result of a bad mistake. this is a black and white issue, no gray here. maybe there should be a higher age limit to getting a drivers license because obviously some/many teenagers are not mature enough to handle the responsibility.

  8. federalwaydad says:

    also my condolences and my prayers to the family’s involved ….. one must remember there are people involved here that are hurting tremendously and they did not choose to speed.

  9. juandd11 says:

    Freedom of speech, way to go tribune.

  10. torinaga says:
  11. skippythedog says:

    It is fortunate that no innocent people were hurt or killed. Only those complicit were affected.

  12. mstewartintacoma says:

    My heart goes out to the famliy and friends of the 18 year old who passed.

    Somebody lost their boy. They will never be able to say goodbye. Never be able to tell them they love him again.

    I appreciate those of you who have expressed your condolences in a blog that will be read by the heartbroken and bereaved. You are kind and thoughtful and the world needs more of you.

  13. MarksonofDarwin says:

    Wow rollo.
    We are neighbors, and I heard the same thing. There’s a crash at that corner just about every 3 months. Usually fender benders, with minor injuries.
    Many of us who live here will call 911 and congregate around the scene.
    I chose to stay inside last night, and I’m glad I did.
    I had a feeling that someone died this time….don’t ask me why.
    This is just horrible. I heard racing up and down Vassault earlier in the day and I knew it was kids. I said a silent prayer that they would be OK, or at least get a ticket.
    Yes. This is irresponsible behavior. The consequences are severe and permanent.
    My heart goes out to the young men’s families and friends…

  14. rollo73 says:

    Mark there are always cars driving like crazy around there. Vassault is like a speedway sometimes, and the only thing ever done about it is an electronic sign on a pole that gives you your speed and tells you to slow down. You know what I’m talking about. With all of those accidents you are talking about one would think the city would do something about it, but I guess not. Maybe this will wake them up. There are many times when I am coming home and somebody will blow through the last intersection before my house going really fast, and there are kids everywhere on my street. I always make sure to stop at that intersection, if I was just to go through, I would have been hit ten times by now.

  15. My sympathies for the family of the young man who died and the injured passengers.

    The period from May – September after the senior year of high school is the most dangerous time for teenage drivers. They have a sense of invincibility combined with a kind of nihilism because their school world is coming to an end. It’s a good time to keep your kids away from anything with more than 4 cylinders.

    Maybe we can take that speed camera from N 26th (where it sits directly in front of a police station) and put it on Vassault where it sounds like it’s sorely needed?

  16. frankiethomas says:

    Sheesh. This is a scary, sad story. Kids don’t take driving seriously. I was hit by a speeding unlicensed 18 year old with no insurance in a basically unregistered car recently. At least no one was hurt physically. I could not even get the police to come to the scene to cite him, even when I told 911 he admitted no license or insurance. I wonder if that kid takes driving seriously now that my inurance is going after him?

  17. juandd11 says:

    As young men I remember making some decisions such as driving too fast and underage drinking, and even thou I knew that I was breaking the law, I remember not once thinking about an incident such as this, in reality it was the furthest thing from my mind. I can empathize with this young man and at the same time tell other young men that might be reading this that it is really not worth it at the end.
    It is always easy to sit on the other side of the fence and play judge ,jury, and executioner, because some of you are all perfect. But somewhere out there is a young man who is no longer with us and another that will have to live and think about his friend for the rest of his life, I don’t know about you, but to me that is an awful burden to carry at such a young age. My prayers to all those involved

  18. Since someone mentioned that speed sign that tells you you are going too fast,

    How about this idea. Put a CAMERA in there with a radar device. This accident was obviously caused by speed FAR in excess of the post 30MPH….Lets just put the number at 50.

    The radar/camera detects yet another IDIOT, with no concern for the safety of the public, or the law, records the license number and then they send the tow truck to the registered owners house and CONFISCATE the vehicle, sell it off and give the proceeds to charity.

  19. @Frankiethomas…Ill agree to a point, but frankly as far as taking driving seriously, I see everyday, teenagers who take driving far more seriously than their parents. ;)

  20. You’ll have to excuse my apparent callous comments on these topics.

    Juanndd makes a good point above, but I will say that I have seen my fill, nationwide, of highway carnage.

    I just don’t have much sympathy anymore for anyone, old or young, who willingly puts the rest of society at risk because they have some foolish need to demonstrate what “experts” they think they are behind the wheel, or because their sense of “hurry up” is more important that everyone else’s safety.

  21. salgal80 says:

    This was such a scary, surreal accident. I sat with the kid who was ejected from the car until the medics showed up and I hope I was able to provide him with some comfort during those few minutes. I hope the two survivors recover as best as they can and that we all can learn a lesson in how fragile and precious life is. There are laws and rules for a reason and this is a very unfortunate example of what can happen when those laws and rules aren’t followed. My thoughts are with the friends and families through this difficult time.

  22. Dcr628 Actually there is more comments like yours, just saying.

  23. diecastgalore says:

    I can remember when TPD used to radar on Vassault regularly.
    I was 16 then. I got ticketed, my friends got ticketed. Now we put an electronic sign up.
    But even live radar likely would not have prevented this tragedy. My condolences to the young man’s family.
    Sometimes we make bad choices, and those choices carry heavy consequences.

  24. This is so sad, but it will continue until efforts are made to slow the traffic down in our neighborhood. I live on “the dragstrip” from Ferdinand to Pearl, and it gets worse every year when the weather finally heats up and the waterfront gets busy.
    Stop cruiser traffic from lawfully using the hill from May to October, divert the waterfront traffic thru the tunnel up thru Ruston, they could use the ticket revenue!

  25. carolinakate says:

    this is to Dcr628:
    Ya, sure there needs to be CONSEQUENCES like you said. But death shouldn’t be a consequence. Igor was great. And, theres nothing wrong with 50 people admitting that he was. He NEVER deserved to die. Think about how you would feel if a close friend, or if your son died. Would you say, he needed this to happen??

  26. jessierogers says:

    igor was truly a spectacular person & he didn’t deserve to die. he wasn’t aware that the driver was going too fast because he had his headphones in & was texting, while alex, the passenger, was screaming at max to slow down. so please, for those of you who DON’T know igor, spare your judgments (especially you, dcr628.). i don’t think you’d be talking if this happened to someone that you loved & were close to. it was a tragic accident & shouldn’t have happened. my heart goes out to his family, they are in my prayers.

    R.I.P. igor kotelevskiy, i will always love you! i’ll never forget all of the wonderful days & nights we spent together! you were an amazing friend & i will forever miss you. i hope to see you in heaven someday <3

  27. Marzio Mari Ahrens says:

    That night when Igor Kotelevskiy came into my life. I lived in the house next to the garden where the car had its accident. I went out to try to give first aid to the occupants and found one still sitting in the car and the second one being sleeping next to the car. The third one, Igor, still alive he died in my hands. Have not forgotten that night and still six years later I do remember it as it was yesterday. I was by the family invited to attend the funeral service at Chambers bay cementary and were able to say goodbye to Igor. Before going back to Sweden I went by his grave and said farwell. I wish his family and his parents to be fine and well.

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