Man crashed car and died while fleeing Brier police

BRIER — A man who crashed a car and died in Lake Forest Park on June 18 had been fleeing from Brier police just moments before.

Anthony Koschei, 31, lost control of the car and struck a tree about a mile away from where Brier police had tried to pull him over, officials said. The crash happened just inside Lake Forest Park city limits.

At the time, Koschei had a warrant for his arrest for failing to report to his community corrections officer at the state Department of Corrections office in Lynnwood.

The Lake Forest Park Police Department and the Washington State Patrol are investigating the collision. The Brier Police Department also plans an internal review.

Brier police did not release any information about the collision until this week. The department’s news release was dated June 19 but wasn’t shared with the public until after an inquiry from The Herald.

Brier officers saw an Acura RSX being driven recklessly about 9:25 p.m.

The driver sped off, Brier Police Chief Mike Catlett wrote in the news release.

At 9:45 p.m., Brier police again spotted the Acura and attempted to pull the driver over in the area of 44th Avenue W. and Cedar Way. The driver again took off, and police “disengaged in attempting to stop the suspect vehicle,” the chief wrote.

Within minutes, Brier police found the Acura crashed. It was about a mile away, near the intersection of NE 202nd Street and 37th Avenue NE. That’s about three blocks inside Lake Forest Park city limits, in King County.

Officials have declined to discuss the circumstances in which Brier police found the collision, minutes after the attempted traffic stop.

“Brier Police Officers later located the suspect vehicle just inside the city limits of Lake Forest Park and had noticed it crashed off the roadway,” the chief wrote.

Brier police and Lake Forest police said they could not discuss the matter pending further investigation.

The incident is not described as a pursuit in the Brier news release.

Officers elsewhere in the region have been disciplined for following fleeing suspects, without engaging in a full-fledged pursuit.

Pursuits are high-risk police work, and many departments have adopted stricter rules for when chases can take place, including Everett and Bothell. At least four people died during police pursuits in Snohomish County last year.

The cause of the June 18 crash remains under investigation, but preliminary information indicates speed was a factor, said detective Tony Matthews, a Lake Forest Park police department spokesman.

Koschei had a lengthy rap sheet. He was in state prisons from November 2008 to June 2010 and November 2011 to February 2013, Department of Corrections spokeswoman Norah West said.

The most recent prison stint was for identity theft and drug possession in King County.

Koschei failed to report to his community corrections officer on Dec. 12, 2013, and a warrant was issued for his arrest, West said.

Anyone who may have seen or talked to Koschei in the hours before the crash is asked to contact the Lake Forest Park Police Department.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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