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Three-car accident in Kent kills two

Investigators stand near the wreckage of a severe three-car accident that happened at about 8:46 p.m. Aug. 24 at the intersection of Southeast 208th Street and 108th Avenue Southeast in the Panther Lake area of Kent
Investigators stand near the wreckage of a severe three-car accident that happened at about 8:46 p.m. Aug. 24 at the intersection of Southeast 208th Street and 108th Avenue Southeast in the Panther Lake area of Kent's East Hill. A man and woman in one of the cars died at the scene.
— image credit: CHARLES CORTES, Kent Reporter

Two Des Moines women died in a three-car accident at about 8:46 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of Southeast 208th Street and 108th Avenue Southeast in the Panther Lake area of Kent's East Hill.

The victims were identified as Kiana Cormier, 24, and Jessica Stenseth, 23, according to the Kent Police. Police initially had reported that a man and a woman died in the crash.

Kent Police arrested Gregory Aurdell Ross, 31, of Kent, Wednesday for investigation of two counts of vehicular homicide, giving false information to police and driving with a suspended driver license, according to a Kent Police media release. Ross was not injured in the accident.

Ross was in custody Wednesday at the city jail in Kent. Bail is set at $1 million.

Kent investigators allege that Ross was under the influence of prescribed medication, as well as an illegal controlled substance, while driving his truck south on 108th Avenue Southeast. Statements made by Ross and evidence located at the crash site led investigators to allege that he was in an impaired state at the time of the crash.

Police also obtained a blood sample from Ross to be analyzed as part of the investigation.

Cormier and Stenseth were in a Kia sedan traveling northbound on 108th Avenue Southeast, also known as the Benson Highway, according to police. The The Kia, attempting to make a left turn, became involved in a collision with a southbound Ford Explorer, driven by Ross, in the center of the intersection.

The Kia then veered away from the impact and collided with an eastbound Mitsubishi sedan. All three cars came to rest alongside each other on the south side of the street.

Kent Police and firefighters arrived within minutes of the accident and worked quickly to extricate Cormier and Stenseth, the driver, from the Kia, which landed on its side. Both died at the scene.

A SeaTac man, who drove the Mitsubishi, was uninjured.

Kent Police Sgt. Robert Constant said the investigation into the accident continues.

“We hope to be able to bring answers to the families of both these victims in the very near future," Constant said.

Kent Police also are asking that witnesses not yet interviewed by officers about the crash to call the police at 253-856-5800.

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