Police respond to a wrong way crash Thursday night on Highway 525 in Lynnwood after a police chase. (Photo provided by Washington State Department of Transportation)

Police respond to a wrong way crash Thursday night on Highway 525 in Lynnwood after a police chase. (Photo provided by Washington State Department of Transportation)

Lynnwood woman, 83, killed in wrong-way crash following police pursuit

Deputies said they were chasing a man, 37, south on Highway 525 when he swerved into northbound lanes, killing an oncoming driver.

LYNNWOOD — An elderly woman was killed by a wrong-way driver Thursday night, following a police pursuit that ended in a fiery crash on Highway 525, police said.

Around 8 p.m., Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies began chasing a Kenmore driver in a gray GMC Sierra on Hardeson Road in Everett, spokesperson Courtney O’Keefe said Friday. The man had been accused of domestic violence assault in the first degree and kidnapping.

A Monroe woman, 34, was inside the pickup and believed to be in danger, police said.

Deputies lost sight of the Sierra near 4th Avenue West in Everett, before locating it again at Beverly Park Road and Mukilteo Speedway, O’Keefe said.

The Sierra driver swerved into northbound lanes at Highway 525 and Highway 99, going the wrong way, O’Keefe said. Deputies reportedly terminated the pursuit.

Moments later at 148th Street SW, the truck struck an oncoming GMC Yukon, causing it to roll into the traffic barrier and catch on fire, according to police. The driver of the Yukon was pronounced dead at the scene.

Troopers believe the Sierra driver, 37, was impaired at the time of the crash. He was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to the Washington State Patrol. On Friday, he remained in the intensive care unit at the hospital, Harborview spokesperson Susan Gregg said.

The Monroe woman in the passenger seat was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett.

State troopers identified the deceased as Trudy Slanger, of Lynnwood. She was 83.

Slanger was a mother of three children and a grandmother to at least five kids. She was married to Gary Slanger for 61 years before he died in 2019, according to his obituary.

The Kenmore man has at least seven felony convictions, including theft and possession of a stolen vehicle, and a dozen more misdemeanors in King, Cowlitz and Snohomish counties, according to court records.

In 2022, he was charged with first-degree assault for allegedly shooting at a stranger in an apartment complex parking lot on Highway 99. In March, Superior Court Judge Jon Scott issued a bench warrant when he failed to appear in court. The case was still pending as of this week.

In charging papers from the previous assault case, deputy prosecutor Isaac Wells wrote the man’s criminal history “mostly has non-violent offenses, but this incident appears to (show) he is escalating.”

On Friday, the Washington State Patrol was investigating the Sierra driver on counts of second-degree murder, vehicular assault and DUI.

Lanes were closed in both directions for several hours following the crash on Highway 525.

This year, state lawmakers passed a reformed standard for police pursuits — rolling back a previous reform that gave police less discretion. The new bill allowed officers to initiate pursuits if they have “reasonable suspicion” of a crime, rather than the higher standard of probable cause. Legislators in Olympia passed the bill in March.

Maya Tizon: 425-339-3434; maya.tizon@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @mayatizon.

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