Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing
Melanie Hanes (center) talks about her sister, Andrea Hudson at press conference held at the site of the deadly March 19 crash near Renton. From left to right: Issac Smith, Chase Wilcoxson, Hanes, Jessica Brown, Jaron Brown.

Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing Melanie Hanes (center) talks about her sister, Andrea Hudson at press conference held at the site of the deadly March 19 crash near Renton. From left to right: Issac Smith, Chase Wilcoxson, Hanes, Jessica Brown, Jaron Brown.

Families forgive Kent suspect involved in fatal crash near Renton

High-speed collision March 19 killed four; families of victims call to make the roads safer

Chase Daniel Jones, 18, of Kent, has been charged with four counts of vehicular homicide, two counts of vehicular assault and one count of reckless driving after reportedly running through a red light at 112 mph and causing a mass-casualty collision near Renton.

At 12:42 p.m. March 19, at the intersection of Southeast 192nd Street and 140th Avenue Southeast in the Cascade-Fairwood area of unincorporated King County, Jones was driving southbound in a blue Audi A4 when he collided with a beige Toyota Sienna driven by Andrea Hudson, 38, who was heading eastbound on SE 192nd Street through the green light at the intersection.

Charging documents report that Jones’ car T-boned the minivan, which held five passengers: Matilda Wilcoxson, 13; Eloise Wilcoxson, 12; Boyd “Buster” Brown, 12; and Hudson’s children, Nolan, 14, and Charlotte, 12.

Andrea Hudson, Matilda, Eloise and Buster were pronounced dead at the scene of the collision, while Nolan and Charlotte were transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with life-threatening injuries. Jones also was transported to Harborview.

The following day, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office listed “multiple blunt force injuries” as the manner of death for Hudson, Matilda, Eloise and Buster.

According to the police report, the force of the impact from Jones’ car caused Hudson’s minivan to collide with two more vehicles, where one other driver received non-life threatening injuries.

Described as an “incredibly violent collision,” the force of the impact caused the minivan to roll and come to a rest 125 feet south of the intersection.

“The impact was so severe it caused approximately 3 feet of intrusion into the passenger compartment and the fire department had to cut off the roof to extract the occupants,” said King County Sheriff’s Office Detective Justin Langhofer in the report.

Jones’ Audi ended up 126 feet past the point of impact, coming to rest on a retaining wall and chain-link fence on the east side of the road. According to police, the vehicle had caught fire after the collision, but was extinguished by a witness.

Police obtained a search warrant for the vehicle, including the event data recorder (EDR), which corroborated witness accounts that Jones was traveling over 100 mph “prior to the collision and immediately prior to running the red light was at or near full throttle.”

“[He] did not make any attempts to slow down as he approached the intersection,” said Langhofer, who reported that Jones was involved in two prior vehicle collisions within the last year, where his speeding had been a factor in both incidents.

Families hold press conference

In the days following the collision, three GoFundMe pages were created for the Hudson, Wilcoxson and Brown families to help pay for funeral service and to help pay for Nolan and Charlotte’s medical care.

On March 22, the three families held a press conference at the ever-growing roadside memorial on 140th Avenue Southeast.

The families were all close friends and members of a “homeschooling co-op” prior to the collision. They came together to talk about their loved ones.

“There are no words to express the grief, the pain that we feel,” said Chase Wilcoxson, father of Matilda and Eloise. “Four bright lights are missing from the world and it feels cold and dark. The wounds that we feel will eventually heal and the scars will remain for the rest of our lives.”

Their mother, Rivka Wilcoxson, talked about the girls’ hobbies and their love for one another.

“Matilda was an avid plant enthusiast and bookworm, and El loved to play fiddle tunes on her violin and go running with her bestie, Buster,” she said, adding that the girls would want to be together. “They were inseparable in life.”

Jaron and Jessica Brown spoke about their son Buster, whose first name is actually Boyd, but he preferred to go by a family name that went back over 100 years.

“I just feel so lucky to be his dad. He was one of the most fun-loving, adventure-some kids,” said Jaron Brown. “Him and his older brother were just inseparable. You know, we mountain bike together, play basketball all the time […] As fun and lively as Buster was and as competitive as he was at sports, he was also just honestly the sweetest kid.”

Hudson’s sister, Melanie Hanes, and brother, Issac Smith, talked about her selflessness and the legacy that she leaves behind.

“Andrea is calm, patient, selfless,” said Hanes. “We just are going to miss the void of this sweet, strong woman and sister; she never raised her voice at her children, she never raised her voice at anyone else.”

Smith spoke about Hudson’s “Christlike selfless love” and her role as a peacemaker. He also talked about her two children, who are in stable condition, but still in intensive care at Harborview.

“We’re so grateful to have them, just grateful that they’re still here fighting for their lives,” he said. “Charlotte is a sunshine when she walks in the room, she brings a wonderful energy … Nolan is just an awesome kid and he’s really smart and bright. He loves long strategic board games and card games.”

Chase Wilcoxson then spoke for the families, saying that they have forgiven Jones.

“We try to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. We believe in unconditional forgiveness and we pray and we plead for you to pray for the young man who caused this terrible accident and pray for his family. God loves him and we want the best for him,” Wilcoxson said.

Jones is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. April 4 in the GA courtroom of the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. As of Wednesday morning, March 27, Jones remained in Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in satisfactory condition, according to a hospital spokesperson. When released from the hospital, he will be taken to the King County jail. Bail was set at $1 million.

Jones is a 2023 Kentridge High School graduate, according to the school’s graduation program.

Call to action

Closing out the press conference, Wilcoxson called on local government officials to “research and analyze” the road where the collision happened.

“These are not the first fatalities the have happened here in recent months and years, but with help, they can be the last,” he said. “We call on these authorities and leaders of our community to analyze and research what structural and other changes could be made here to make changes so that nothing like this ever happens again.”

Wilcoxson also called on drivers and members of the community to do their part to reduce deadly collisions.

“When you’re driving, think of the people around you. When you’re tempted to speed, think of Andrea. When you’re tempted to grab your phone while you’re driving, think of my beautiful girls, Matilda and Eloise. When you’re trying to make the light, remember Buster Brown,” he said.

Kent Reporter reporter Steve Hunter contributed to this article.

Editor’s note: This story was updated March 27 that Jones remained in the hospital.


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Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing
Chase Wilcoxson, father to Matilda, 13, and Eloise,12, places a family photo at the roadside memorial dedicated to his daughters, Buster Brown, 12, and Andrea Hudson, 38.

Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing Chase Wilcoxson, father to Matilda, 13, and Eloise,12, places a family photo at the roadside memorial dedicated to his daughters, Buster Brown, 12, and Andrea Hudson, 38.

Flowers, framed photos, plush toys and a QR code to the GoFundMe pages of the families grace the memorial site after the March 19 crash. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing.

Flowers, framed photos, plush toys and a QR code to the GoFundMe pages of the families grace the memorial site after the March 19 crash. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing.

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