Photo credit: Komo Air

Federal Way police are still trying to figure out what caused a driver to lose control of his car and cause a brutal T-bone collision Friday afternoon.

The reckless driver was killed, and four others injured in a fatal car crash on Pacific Highway South, near Dash Point Road.  Police say that the driver of the white Cadillac was speeding in the southbound lane of Pacific Highway before losing control while entering the northbound lanes. He was then slammed by a mid-size truck.

Two children, an infant and toddler, are in critical condition. South King County Fire and Rescue reported the children’s injuries appear to be non-life threatening. The infant’s mother, a passenger in the wrecked sedan, sustained non-life threatening injuries as well.

The driver, the 20 year-old father, died at the scene from injuries incident to the crash. Police say the driver of the truck was hurt, but is expected to recover.

Investigators are piecing together eyewitness accounts to determine if the driver was speeding, racing, or both.

Reckless Driving Can Be Life-Threatening

Unfortunately, statistics show that aggressive driving is on the rise and continues to take its toll on our communities. And as our crash story shows, speeding not only threatens the driver’s life, but innocent passengers in the car, and other vehicles on the road around them, and any law enforcement or pedestrians nearby. Not to mention all the delays caused by the hours of road closures and clean-up. Everyone on the road pays a price for reckless driving. Sadly, the ultimate price for some may be their own life.

Speeding is the most common reckless driving behavior behind the wheel. It’s easy to do from time to time, but speed, especially excessive speed, can endanger the lives of everyone on the road. Speeding was the noted cause of almost 9,600 motor vehicle deaths in 2015 alone.


With unknown identities, some aggressive drivers disconnect their actions as being towards people, but rather as objects of their own feelings of frustration. This disconnection with other drivers seems to fuel and even justify their rage on the road or towards unsuspecting travelers. This aggression usually plays out with speeding, changing lanes frequently, following too close, or becoming angry at anyone that impedes their progress. It can escalate into road rage or catastrophic collisions.

There are so many reasons poor driving behavior occurs. But in terms of aggressive or reckless driving, this sense of anonymity behind the wheel, gives an immature or volatile person a way to lash out or vent their frustrations. By detaching themselves from the consequences of their poor driving choices, they jeopardize the lives and safety of everyone on the road.

Aggressive Driving Behaviors

A 2009 study by the American Automobile Association attempted to identify behaviors associated with aggressive driving, based on data tracked by NHTSA’s Fatal Accident Report System (FARS). It found that aggressive driving played a role in 56 percent of fatal crashes from 2003 through 2007, with excessive speed being the number one factor.  Some of the other driver-related factors found in the FARS study of how crashes may have been caused by aggressive driving behaviors were:

  • Following improperly
  • Improper or erratic lane changing
  • Illegal driving on road shoulder, in ditch, or on sidewalk or median
  • Passing where prohibited
  • Failure to yield right of way
  • Operating the vehicle in an erratic, reckless, careless, or negligent manner or suddenly changing speeds
  • Failure to obey traffic signs, traffic control devices, or traffic officers, failure to observe safety zone traffic laws
  • Failure to observe warnings or instructions on vehicle displaying them
  • Driving too fast for conditions or in excess of posted speed limit
  • Failure to signal
  • Racing
  • Making an improper turn

What Can You Do?

It’s completely normal to get frustrated or experience anger while driving. Things happen. But the key to staying safe is to not let our emotions lead to destructive choices. Getting from point A to point B should never be a life-or-death situation!

AAA offers these simple tips to help prevent road rage:

Remember to Stay Calm on the Road

Stay calm. Sometimes easier said than done. But one of the most important things to remember when faced with an aggressive driver or road rage situation is to NOT ENGAGE with the other driver! Leave plenty of space between you, move to the right lane if you can, or even opt for a different traffic pattern than planned. Giving into inciting behavior is not only dangerous, but could be fatal. Nobody should ever be a hostage of road rage or an aggressive driver. If able, call 911 or have a passenger do it for you.

Here to Help

If you or a loved one have been hurt or injured in a motor vehicle crash caused by an aggressive driver, call Fielding Law Group today for a free appointment and review of your case.  Consulting with a personal injury attorney is one of the best ways to determine your legal rights after an accident. Our experienced auto accident attorneys and legal team at Fielding Law Group will fight and get the compensation you are entitled to for injuries caused by an at-fault driver. Remember–Don’t let an accident wreck YOU!