Woman’s keen eye aids police

  • By Eric Stevick Herald writer
  • Tuesday, August 21, 2012 7:20pm

LYNNWOOD — An observant woman provided key information to police that led to an arrest in a hit-and-run fatality collision along Highway 99 in Lynnwood earlier this month.

On Aug. 10, the woman and a companion noticed a silver car with a broken windshield in the 5500 block of 204th St. SW, court papers said. She saw dents on the front bumper and car’s roof. The rear window also was shattered. She noticed what she believed was blood on the roof and spatter on the rear bumper.

When she returned that evening, the car was beneath a blue tarp, according to court papers. She grew suspicious and did an Internet search that provided information about the fatal collision in Lynnwood on Aug. 9.

The next morning, she met with Lynnwood police who were able to get a search warrant.

Police followed several leads throughout the weekend.

On Aug. 13, Michael Thao, 29, of Lynnwood, was arrested for investigation of being involved in a hit-and-run fatality collision.

Lynnwood police allege that Thao sped away after striking a man who was crossing the highway just after 10:30 p.m. Aug. 9, about a half-mile south of 164th Street SW.

The victim, Young Koo Kim, 62, was rushed to a Seattle hospital where he died the next day. He was crossing the highway with his wife and adult son, court papers said.

He was walking behind them when he was hit. He died from blunt-force injuries, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

A Everett District Court judge Aug. 14 found there was probable cause for Thao’s arrest and set bail at $250,000.

The suspect has nine previous felony convictions, including two in Snohomish County for auto theft and cocaine possession.

Thao’s damaged car was found near a home where he lives, court papers said.

Surveillance footage from local businesses showed the car that struck Kim made a U-turn right after the collision and slowly drove past the fatally injured man while he was lying on the roadway, court papers said.