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Teen killed in Kent car crash identified
A 17-year-old Kent boy, who died from injuries suffered when his car collided early Sunday morning with a King County Sheriff's Office patrol car in Kent, has been identified.
The teen was identified as Brandon Gonzalez on Wednesday by the King County Medical Examiner's Office, which listed the cause of death as blunt force injury to the head.
The accident occurred at about 12:30 a.m. at the intersection of South 196th Street and 68th Avenue South, also known as the West Valley Highway.
Gonzalez, the driver of an Acura that crashed with the patrol car, was a senior at Thomas Jeffeson High School, according to a message on the school's website by Principal Liz Drake. Thomas Jefferson is a Federal Way School District school located in Auburn and draws students from Kent, Auburn and Federal Way.
Counselors were available at Thomas Jefferson to help students and staff members cope with the tragedy, Drake said.
Family and friends placed flowers and a cross at the southeast corner of the intersection as a memorial to Gonzalez.
The patrol car was traveling south on 68th Avenue while an Acura, driven by Gonzalez with two passengers, headed east on South 196th Street, said Sgt. Cindi West, spokeswoman for the King County Sheriff's Office, in an email.
"The intersection is controlled by a traffic signal," West said. "Both vehicles entered the intersection around the same time. The patrol car struck the driver’s side of the Acura."
Paramedics transported Gonzalez with critical injuries to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he later died of his injuries, West said. The deputy was treated at Valley Medical Center in Renton for a broken wrist. The two passengers in the Acura were treated at Valley Medical Center for minor injuries.
"There were no indications of alcohol or drugs at the scene," West said.
As of Wednesday, the accident remained under investigation by the King County Sheriff's Office major accident response and reconstruction unit.
West said the deputy told investigators he had a green light while the surviving occupants of the other car were unsure if their light was green or red.
"We are actively seeking any witnesses to the accident," West said.
One passenger in the Acura told investigators they had been racing another vehicle prior to the accident, West said.
The intersection is near a popular illegal street racing section of the North Kent industrial area. Drivers show up on late weekend nights for one-on-one races down the side streets. Kent Police have tried to stop the races for years without much success.