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Investigation remains open into Kent car crash that killed teen
A King County Sheriff's Office Driving Review Board will eventually decide if a deputy could have prevented an accident when his patrol car collided with another vehicle in Kent and killed the teen driver.
The investigation into the Oct. 20 accident that killed Brandon Gonzalez, 17, remains open, according to an email from Sgt. Cindi West, spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office. Gonzalez, of Kent, was a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School in the Federal Way School District.
The accident occurred at about 12:30 a.m. at the intersection of South 196th Street and 68th Avenue South. The deputy suffered a broken wrist. Two passengers in the Acura driven by Gonzalez were treated for minor injuries.
"When a deputy is involved in an accident like this our Major Accident Response and Reconstruction Unit (MARR) responds and investigates the accident," West said. "The findings will be forwarded to our Driving Review Board and the board will decide if the deputy's driving was within policy and the law and whether it was preventable or not and if any training or discipline should be given to the deputy."
The deputy has worked seven years with the Sheriff's Office.
Investigators have been unable to determine which car ran the red light. 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 have not located any independent witnesses so we may never know which car ran the red light," West said.
The patrol car was traveling south on 68th Avenue while an Acura, driven by Gonzalez with two passengers, headed east on South 196th Street. The posted speed is 50 mph along 68th Avenue South and 40 mph along South 196th Street. Investigators are still reviewing evidence to try to determine the speed of each vehicle.
West said she expects the Driving Review Board to meet about the case once the accident investigation is complete. The board meets about once a month, if necessary, to review cases.
The board includes seven members from the Sheriff's Office, including a commander who chairs the group.