NTSB preparing preliminary report on plane crash that killed Kentlake swim coach

Searchers respond to an early morning Feb. 15 plane crash that killed three people near Mount Si in North Bend. The victims included Kentlake High swim coach Seth Dawson. - COURTESY PHOTO, Snoqualmie Valley Record
Searchers respond to an early morning Feb. 15 plane crash that killed three people near Mount Si in North Bend. The victims included Kentlake High swim coach Seth Dawson.
— image credit: COURTESY PHOTO, Snoqualmie Valley Record

A National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report about the Cessna 172 plane crash that killed Kentlake High School swim coach Seth Dawson Feb. 15 near Mount Si in North Bend is expected to be issued by the end of this week or early next week.

Dawson, 31; Rob Hill, 30, swim coach at Federal Way's Decatur High; and Elizabeth Redling, 29, of Federal Way, were killed in the accident, according to the King County Medical Examiner's Office. No one survived the crash.

"We're still collecting factual information on the cause," said Wayne Pollack, NTSB crash investigator, during a Tuesday phone interview. "We expect the preliminary report to be complete early next week or the end of this week."

Pollack was at the crash site on Friday, Feb. 17 to examine evidence.

"We are still recovering information and evidence from various sources, including witnesses and physical evidence," Pollack said. "We have an ongoing evaluation to find out if we have radar track from FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) data."

Dawson was in his second season of coaching the Kentlake boys swim and dive team. He coached the Kentlake girls team in the fall. Hill had been the Decatur swim coach for five years.

Dawson and Hill were scheduled to attend the high school state championships last weekend at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. They also coached for the Federal Way-based Valley Aquatics swim club.

Kentlake swimmer Erik Fulmer, the only Falcon to advance to the state meet, placed sixth in the 200-yard freestyle and seventh in the 500 freestyle in Saturday's championship round.

A memorial service for Dawson is set for Sunday, Feb. 26 at Hudson's Bay High School in Vancouver. The time of the service has yet to be determined. Dawson won state swimming titles for Hudson's Bay in the 200 freestyle in 1998 and the both the 100 and 200 freestyle events in 1999. He later competed in swimming at Cal State Bakersfield.

Prior to coming to Kentlake and Valley Aquatics, Dawson coached the Mt. Hood Aquatics swim club in Gresham, Ore.

Carrie Dougherty, the mother of two swimmers on the Kentlake team, posted a tribute to Dawson on Vancouver's Evergreen Memorial Gardens Cemetery and funeral chapel website.

"Seth Dawson was a wonderful man, a caring coach, and such a thoughtful person," Dougherty wrote. "He touched so many lives in the short time he was in the Kent/Federal Way area. He provided so much inspiration to the kids he coached. He knew how to reach them and get them to understand that they can accomplish anything they want if they persevere. Seth coached both of my kids for Kentlake High School and also for Kent Swim and Tennis Club.

"I could see a difference in their attitudes about swimming when Seth started coaching them. I worked closely with Seth as a parent of swimmers and I was amazed at how he could gain respect of those kids by giving them respect as well.

"Although Seth was only in our area for two short years, I thank God that he blessed us with him and I know the lessons we have learned from him will stay with us all the rest of our lives. We miss him dearly."

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