Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Pateros sledding accident claims life of Lake Stevens youngster

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PATEROS – A sled-vehicle collision at an active city intersection claimed the life of an 11-year-old Lake Stevens youngster visiting relatives over the Christmas holidays, Dec. 26.

According to a report released by the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 16, the fatality occurred on a snowy morning at the intersection of West Warren Avenue and North Eveline Street. The report said a youngster on a snow sled traveling east on Eveline collided with a pickup traveling northbound on Warren.

While an Okanogan County Deputy was questioning the driver, inspecting the pickup, and taking photos of the accident site, he was advised by a homeowner who lived nearby that the homeowner’s security camera covered the intersection where the incident occurred and captured the tragedy.

“The camera…points from the north toward the south of the intersection on the west side of Warren,” the report said. “In the video you can see the child walk across Warren from the west to Eveline St., up the west side of Eveline St., and the child goes out of view.”

The report states that about two minutes after the child goes out of view “you see the pickup traveling north on Warren Avenue. As the truck is about ¾ of the way through the intersection you see the child come into view.”

The section of West Eveline the youngster was sledding on includes “a large hill approximately one-quarter-mile long,” the report said.
The video shows the child strike the truck on the driver’s rear side just ahead of the rear tire, continue under the vehicle and exit the rear of the vehicle and come to rest in the middle of the intersection.

“Looking at the vehicle it didn’t appear the tires ran over the child,” the incident report said. “It looks like the child struck the undercarriage as the vehicle rolls forward.”

In a statement to the deputy, the vehicle’s driver did not see the youngster on the sled as he drove through the intersection but “felt something,” looked in his rear-view mirror and saw something in the road behind him. The vehicle had traveled about 30 feet when the driver stopped and backed up to the side of the victim.

“After seeing the video, it was clear that (the driver) was not at fault in the collision and had no time to react before the incident occurred,” the deputy reported.

As it turned out the driver and victim were related, and the deputy learned that the child was told by his grandmother not to sled down the hill until she was present at the location.

Emergency responders arrived at the scene and administered CPR to the child who sustained a head injury and was not breathing. He was transported to a Spokane hospital where it was reported on Jan. 2 that the child passed away, the report said. The report did not mention that the injured youngster was first taken to Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster before being transported to Spokane.

At the time of the sledding accident, Brewster Police Chief Nattalie Cariker said she “was working that day and assisting another agency with a complaint at that time. Very sad incident in Pateros.”

Ironically, just eight days earlier the Brewster Police Department and Brewster Boys and Girls Club (BBGC) teamed up to host a Cops N Kids event at the BBGC that included a Snow Safety Contest with 20 donated sleds awarded the winning entries. The contest was open to youngsters from the Pateros-Brewster-Bridgeport area and was part of an annual Christmas Shop and Winter Carnival.

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