Northwest News

Man’s family drives by just after fatal head-on crash with car thief, Wash. cops say

A Washington father is dead after a head-on crash with a suspected car thief on Monday, authorities said.

The King County Sheriff’s Office said the man’s family happened to drive by the crash site just moments after the deadly wreck in Burien around 8 a.m., Q13 FOX reports.

“This is just so horrible and so tragic for them, and especially for them just to drive up on something like that shortly after it happened had to be unimaginable,” said Sgt. Ryan Abbott of the King County Sheriff’s Office, according to Q13 FOX.

The other driver was taken to the hospital in stable condition, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Citing the Sheriff’s Office, The Seattle Times reported that “the 30-year-old male driver of a stolen Subaru Legacy crossed fully into the oncoming lane and struck a pickup truck being driven by a 44-year-old man,” who was en route to work.

Authorities said the victim’s family was “driving a couple of minutes behind and encountered the scene before police arrived,” the Times reported.

Abbott said the man who survived the wreck has been accused of car theft before, adding that the Subaru in Monday’s wreck had been reported missing the night before, KOMO reports.

The suspect’s name was not released.

Family identified the crash victim as Carlos Recinos, 44, according to Q13 FOX.

“He don’t drink, he don’t use drugs. He’s a good guy,” Walter Lopez, Recinos’ cousin, told the TV station.

The suspect “has been arrested 10 times since 2017 with five total convictions. The most recent incident was in August for criminal trespassing,” Q13 FOX reported.

Abbott said the suspect is expected to be booked on vehicular homicide and possession of a stolen vehicle charges after he is released from Harborview Medical Center, where several broken bones are being treated, the Times reported.

“I’m so sad,” Lopez told KING, “because this is a really big loss to my family.”

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.