Lynnwood man pleads guilty to fleeing fatal accident scene

LYNNWOOD — A Lynnwood driver accused of killing a pedestrian on Highway 99 in August has pleaded guilty to fleeing the scene of a fatal accident.

Michael Thao, 29, plans to ask for an alternative sentence that would swap out some prison time for drug treatment. A judge Friday ordered the state Department of Corrections to evaluate whether Thao is eligible for the prison-based alternative under the law. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month.

Thao drove into Youngkoo Kim on Aug. 9 while the man crossed the highway with his wife and adult son. The family was visiting the area and had stopped to find a convenience store. Kim, 62, died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Prosecutors accused Thao of fleeing the scene. They also alleged that he attempted to cover up what he’d done. He asked a friend to conceal his heavily damaged car with a tarp, court papers said.

A woman helped investigators identify Thao. She had noticed a car with a broken windshield and dents on the front bumper and car’s roof. The rear window also was shattered. She spotted what she thought was blood on the roof and rear bumper. Later that evening, she saw that someone had covered the car with a blue tarp.

She searched the Internet and discovered information about a fatal crash in Lynnwood about three miles from where she spotted the car. She called Lynnwood police.

Thao has felony convictions for drugs and property crimes. He also was convicted in 2011 of driving with a suspended license.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Man shot dead after argument at bar south of Everett

Police say an employee of the bar shot and killed the man, who had opened fire in the parking lot.

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

They check tickets, help riders, sometimes get screamed at

13 sheriff’s deputies (so far) patrol Community Transit’s fleet of nearly 300 buses.

Three teens arrested for Marysville school vandalism

Windows were broken and a trash bin was on fire Sunday night at a Marysville middle school.

Alaska Airlines to announce Paine Field destinations Tuesday

The Snohomish County airport’s passenger terminal is slated to see flights this fall.

Langley mayor threatens newspaper with lawsuit

The mayor threatened to sue the paper over claims he withheld public records disclosure information.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Community Health Center opening its seventh clinic

The nonprofit is dedicated to providing care for low-income and uninsured patients.

More help is coming for homeless addicts

The county plans to repurpose its former work release building in for use as a diversion center.

Most Read