Svetlana Kravchenko, 66, was charged with a hit-and-run fatality in December, two years after Te Nguyen’s death while she crossed Seventh Avenue SE in south Everett.
The felony charge is different from vehicular homicide. Kravchenko was not charged for Nguyen’s killing, but for fleeing the scene instead of staying. Under state law, drivers who hit and kill someone must stop their vehicle at or near the scene and remain there to render aid and call police. It is not considered a violent offense.
In April, Kravchenko pleaded guilty in Snohomish County Superior Court. She had no prior criminal history.
Under state sentencing guidelines, the defendant faced 31 to 41 months in prison. Instead, prosecutors recommended a first-time offender waiver for Kravchenko, allowing her to receive a sentence well below the standard range.
“The factors I looked at in making this recommendation were the defendant’s age, her lack of criminal history, as well as the dynamics of the collision itself,” deputy prosecutor Tobin Darrow said in court Thursday. “Specifically, that she wasn’t at fault and that she was cooperative with police when they came to her door.”
Darrow pushed for the 240 hours of community service. Defense attorney Jason Lantz argued for 30 days of electronic home monitoring.
Superior Court Judge Anita Farris sided with the prosecution.
At about 5:15 p.m. Dec. 10, 2019, witnesses saw Nguyen, of Everett, cross the three-lane Seventh Avenue SE, according to charging papers. She put up her hand to get southbound traffic to stop. She crossed through the middle turn lane into the northbound lane.
As Nguyen did so, Kravchenko hit the victim from the side with her silver Hyundai, propelling Nguyen back into the turn lane, according to court documents. Kravchenko stopped her Hyundai at the crash site for a moment before driving away, witnesses told investigators. Nguyen was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, where she died about an hour and a half later.
Later, one witness reported seeing the silver Hyundai parked on a nearby side street. When the witness drove by to see if the Hyundai was occupied, the car reportedly drove away. The witness caught the license plate number.
Everett police tracked the license plate to an apartment building. When officers arrived there around 8 p.m. that night, they found the Hyundai in the parking lot with creases on the hood, according to court papers.
In a written police statement, Kravchenko wrote she saw a man on the hood of her car. She pulled to the side of the road, she said, but was too paralyzed to get out. She reported feeling like she was having a heart attack, according to the charges.
She reportedly said she knew the law required her to render aid and alert law enforcement. She conceded she didn’t call the police, according to court documents.
Through a Russian interpeter, Kravchenko told the judge she felt “very sorry and apologetic for what happened.”
“I panicked and after the accident I ran home,” she said. “I know that I did not do the right thing.”