Kent man killed in stolen truck and trailer crash on East Hill

Reportedly was riding on trailer when another man crashed the truck; police search for suspect

Kent Police are investigating the death of a 29-year-old Kent man as a vehicular homicide after a man crashed and rolled over a reportedly stolen truck pulling an excavator on a trailer.

Officers were dispatched at about 6:55 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 23 to the area of 12000 SE 236th Street in regards to a driver fleeing from a truck and trailer in the ditch, according to a Dec. 23 Kent Police news release.

While en route to the incident, an officer noticed a different truck pulling an excavator on a trailer along SE 234th Street. The truck was driving erratically, unable to stay in its lane. The boom arm on the truck was fully extended, causing it to hit a stop sign. Police did not release any information about whether it was the same man who was driving the truck in the earlier crash.

The officer, did not pursue in compliance with state law, but did observe that the truck was unable to maintain control of the swerving trailer, according to police. A short distance later the trailer and excavator rolled over and detached from the truck. The driver hopped out briefly, but then got back in the truck and fled. The officers did not pursue again.

While examining the crash scene, officers discovered a man, who had apparently been on the trailer or excavator during the rollover crash, according to police. Police had no other details about why or how the man ended up on the trailer or excavator.

The man had massive head and chest injuries. Officers immediately provide CPR and other medical aid. Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority firefighters and medics responded and assumed lifesaving care. The man did not survive. Officers also located a stolen gun on the deceased man.

Officers quickly located the abandoned truck used to flee from the officers near 116th Avenue SE and SE 208th Street. They would later learn that it had been stolen in Kent earlier in the morning, in addition to the trailer and excavator.

Officers assisted by a King County Sheriff’s Office K-9 team, and a drone, conducted an extensive search for the driver/suspect, but were not able to locate him.

The suspect is described as 25 to 30 years old, 5 feet, 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, about 170 pounds, last seen wearing a high visibility vest or jacket.

Kent Police are asking that if you have any information about this incident to call the KPD tip line at 253-856-5808, send a text to KPDTipLine@kentwa.gov or call the non-emergency dispatch line at 253-852-2121.

If your tip is time sensitive call 911.

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